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Gila District Office
Release Date: 02/25/13
Contacts: Diane Drobka, 928-348-4403,    

BLM Gila District Offers Six Arizona Archaeology Month Events

SAFFORD, Ariz. The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Gila District and its partners will celebrate Arizona Archaeology and Heritage Awareness Month by offering a series of free events in southeastern Arizona in March. Locations include Safford, Sonoita, and Sierra Vista.

“We hope that Arizonans will enjoy this opportunity to learn more about these important heritage sites,” said Acting Gila District Manager Kelly Castillo. “Our public lands are rich in historical, archaeological and paleontological resources that offer a glimpse into the past.”

March 1Civilian Conservation Corps Camp Presentation and Tour – 7:00 am to 2:00 pm 
The Sanchez CCC Camp will be the focus of the first event on March 1. BLM archaeologist Dan McGrew invites anyone interested in this historic site to spend the morning with him to learn about and explore the area, which is managed by the BLM Safford Field Office.

The day will start at the BLM office at 7:00 a.m. for a presentation explaining the history of the CCC and the Sanchez Camp. After that, participants can carpool out to the site, where McGrew will lead a guided tour. A high-clearance vehicle is recommended.  Wear comfortable walking shoes and dress for unpredictable weather. Bring water and a sack lunch.  Meet at the BLM office, located at 711 14th Avenue in Safford.   Contact McGrew, 928-348-4466 or for more information.

March 2Fairbank Day – 9 am to 3 pm 
Fairbank Day will feature historic re-enactments of events that took place during the colorful history of the town and the surrounding San Pedro River valley, from Spanish Colonial Days to the early 1900s. Tours of the ghost town and cemetery, located within the BLM’s San Pedro Riparian National Conservation Area, will be offered throughout the day.  A hosted hike from Fairbank to the Spanish Presidio of Terrenate will explore the backcountry in the area. Bring water, food or snacks, sunscreen, hats, and wear appropriate shoes. From I-10, take State Road 90 south toward Sierra Vista. At Whetstone, turn left (east) on State Road 82. After approximately 10 miles, cross the San Pedro River and the old railroad grade; Fairbank parking area is approximately ¼ mile east of the river, on the left.  Contact Friends of San Pedro River at (520) 459-2555 or

March 9 – Empire Ranch Headquarters Tours – 11 am & 1 pm 
Join docents for two tours of the historic Empire Ranch Headquarters, located within the Las Cienegas National Conservation Area.  The 22-room ranch house was begun in the 1870s, and remains a working cattle ranch today. Tours will meet at the main parking area at 11:00 am and 1:00pm.   Bring water, food or snacks, sunscreen, hats, and wear appropriate shoes. From I-10, take State Road 83 south toward Sonoita.  At approximately 18 miles, look for a sign on the right: “Empire Ranch Historic Site.”  Turn left on the well-maintained dirt road and follow signs to the Ranch Headquarters, approximately three miles.   Contact the Empire Ranch Foundation at (888) 364-2829 or  
March 16 – Presidio de Santa Cruz de Terrenate Tour – 9 am 
Tour the Presidio de Santa Cruz de Terrenate, one of three Spanish colonial presidios located in Arizona.  Bring water, food or snacks, sunscreen, and hats, and wear appropriate shoes. The tour will meet at the parking area. From I-10, take State Road 90 south toward Sierra Vista. At Whetstone, turn left (east) on State Highway 82. After approximately eight miles, turn left on In Balance Road; the parking area and trailhead are approximately 1½ miles north, on the right.  Contact:  Friends of San Pedro River at (520) 459-2555 or

March 23 Dedication and Walking Tour10 am 
Join the BLM, National Park Service, and community partners for the dedication of the Murray Springs Clovis Site as one of Arizona’s newest National Historic Landmarks (NHL). After the ceremony, Friends of the San Pedro River, BLM staff, and researchers will lead guided tours to share the history and international importance of this paleontological and archaeological site. View fossils and 10,000-year-old artifacts, such as Clovis spear points, that were unearthed by University of Arizona researchers. Comfortable walking shoes are recommended. Contact BLM archaeologist Amy Sobiech at (520) 258-7205 or

Complete information about many more Arizona Archaeology and Heritage Awareness Month events can be found at

The BLM manages more than 245 million acres of public land, the most of any Federal agency. This land, known as the National System of Public Lands, is primarily located in 12 Western states, including Alaska. The BLM also administers 700 million acres of sub-surface mineral estate throughout the nation. The BLM's mission is to manage and conserve the public lands for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations under our mandate of multiple-use and sustained yield. In Fiscal Year 2014, the BLM generated $5.2 billion in receipts from public lands.

Last updated: 02-25-2013