For the past seven years, the Sierra Club has been helping BLM record rock art in the Cottonwood Point and Paria Canyon Wilderness Areas on the Arizona Strip. So far they have recorded 125 sites, most of them rock art (petroglyphs and pictographs), and they have intensively documented hundreds of rock art elements with drawings and photographs.
Near Sierra Vista, BLM manages the Congressionally designated San Pedro Riparian National Conservation Area. Among its rich cultural resources are two 13,000 year-old mammoth kill sites, the Murray Springs Clovis Site and the Lehner Mammoth Kill National Historic Landmark. With the assistance of a State Heritage Fund Trails grant and volunteer labor, we constructed a parking lot, protective fencing, portal signs, an interpretive loop trail, and interpretive panels. The interpretive developments tell the story of how mammoths were killed and butchered at the site along with several giant bison, and the meat was carried to a campsite some distance away to be cooked and eaten. The site now provides an extraordinary glimpse into a moment of time, and a very real life and death struggle, in 11,200 B.C.
Southeast of Tucson, the BLM acquired part of what used to be one of the largest cattle ranches in the Southwest, the Empire Ranch. Its headquarters includes an adobe ranch house built in 1876 which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The Empire Ranch headquarters was the recipient of a $93,500 Millennium Grant in fiscal year 2000 through the White House's Save America's Treasures initiative. With the help of this grant, the headquarters buildings will be stabilized and made weather tight, the windows, doors, and roof will be refurbished, and the Ranch House will be re-used as an administrative headquarters for managing the surrounding land. A private non-profit foundation was established, the Empire Ranch Foundation, as a partnership with the local communities. The Foundation has offered a way for local citizens to become involved in fund raising and compiling information about Ranch history that would otherwise remain unknown to us.
In Arizona's western desert, northeast of the town of Parker near the Colorado River, BLM manages a turn-of-the-century copper mining town called Swansea. BLM used an Arizona Off Highway Vehicle Recreation Fund grant to address the safety hazards and protect the historic features of the Townsite. In 1998, an earthen architecture workshop was held at Swansea. The Arizona State Historic Preservation Officer assisted, along with adobe stabilization experts from Tumacacori National Historical Park and staff from Mexico's National Institute of Anthropology and History, plus local volunteers, members of the Arizona Archaeological Society and the Site Steward Program. As a result, one of the standing buildings was stabilized and protected. Also, a number of BLM employees and volunteers were trained in adobe stabilization methods that will help in further work at the site. The project received a 1999 Arizona Heritage Preservation Award sponsored by the Governor of Arizona, the Arizona Preservation Foundation and the State Historic Preservation Office.