One of the things that I like about this area is the remnants of the grasslands just to the south of here. Most have been heavily transformed by grazing and the unrelenting march of Mesquite trees but in some areas there have been significant efforts to return to the grasslands of yesteryear. Just by chance the other day Nan and I were in the Sonoita area doing a little hiking and bird watching when I spotted a Northern Harrier from the road and wanted to get a better look and maybe take a picture or two. While we were stopped Nan spotted a kiosk out on the horizon which piqued our curiosity. We found a dirt road marked "Empire Ranch" and headed out to check it out.
There is an ongoing effort to return 20,000 acres to grassland by removing the mesquite and a reintroduction effort for the Black-tailed Prairie Dog which became extinct in Arizona many year ago. I can't wait to make a return visit to this exciting project. You can read about the Empire Ranch here: www.empireranchfoundation.org/RanchInfo.htm