The Research Ranch is a cooperative partnership among the National Audubon Society, U.S. Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management, The Nature Conservancy, Swift Current Land & Cattle and The Research Ranch Foundation. The Research Ranch lies three miles south of Elgin, and 65 miles southeast of Tucson Arizona. It is surrounded by 5 million acres of semi-desert grassland and forested mountains covering southeastern Arizona and adjacent portions of Mexico and New Mexico. For more than 30 years, the Research Ranch has protected grassland ecosystems through conservation, research, and education.
The Research Ranch provides 3 key functions: ecosystem conservation, research, and regional education and outreach. Click on the links at top to learn more.
Ecosystem Conservation: Cattle were removed from the Research Ranch more than 30 years ago, and efforts are being made to help natural processes rehabilitate an ecosystem that was damaged by overgrazing and drought. Erosion control, eradication of exotic species, replanting of native grasses, and reestablishment of fire are all ongoing processes at the Research Ranch. See link at top to learn more about our conservation efforts.
Research: Birds and other animals, plants, soil, microorganisms, and even the air is studied on the Research Ranch. All projects have a common goal – how do we preserve and protect the remaining grassland ecosystems in the southwest. Click on the link at the top to get more information about the sanctuary, what projects are underway, how to apply to conduct research at the Ranch, and view a bibliography of relevant publications.
Education and outreach: Workshops, seminars, a monthly (almost) presentation series, field trips, and a website are all designed to help humans coexist with the rest of nature. Experts in geology, plant identification, zoology, hydrology, astronomy, landscape design, FireWise principles, and other topics share their expertise in various programs at the Research Ranch. The Research Ranch staff members also present programs to civic groups, clubs, and in classrooms, and participate in regional forums. Click on the Outreach and Education link to learn more.
To protect wildlife habitat and ongoing research projects at the Research Ranch, public access must be restricted. Some roads and trails are accessible with permission only. Email, or call 520-455-5522 for information. Please do not walk or drive off existing roads or trails, and do not collect any plants, animals, rocks, or artifacts.
National Audubon Society
Appleton-Whittell Research Ranch
HC1 Box 44
366 Research Ranch Road
Elgin, Arizona 85611
520 455 5522