U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service logo A Unit of the National Wildlife Refuge System
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Leslie Canyon
National Wildlife Refuge


Leslie Canyon NWR protects several threatened and endangered species and a unique walnut-ash cottonwood riparian gallery forest. (USFWS photo by William R. Radke)
P.O.Box 3509
Douglas, AZ   85608
E-mail: Chris_Lohrengel@fws.gov
Phone Number: 520-364-2104
Visit the Refuge's Web Site:
http://www.fws.gov/refuge/leslie_canyon/
Leslie Canyon NWR protects several threatened and endangered species and a unique walnut-ash cottonwood riparian gallery forest. (USFWS photo by William R. Radke)
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  History
Continued . . .

The Coronado expedition passed through the area in search of the fabled seven cities of Cibola during 1540. The Apache used this region for hunting, gathering, and raiding beginning in the early 1600's. Jesuit priests established a mission in the San Bernardino Valley during the 1700's, and a Spanish presidio was established at the site during 1774. Ranching began in 1822 with the acquisition of the San Bernardino Land Grant, and widespread cattle grazing progressed for many years until the Apache drove out the ranchers. Cattle ranching resumed on a large scale when John Slaughter, rancher and sheriff of Tombstone, established the 65,000-acre San Bernardino Ranch in 1884. Just two years later, the Apache leader Geronimo and his band of warriors surrendered for the last time at Skeleton Canyon just north of the dependable springs at San Bernardino. During 1889, local bartender, gambler, cattleman, and already three-time murderer Frank Leslie shot and killed his girlfriend on the 7-UP Ranch, escaping through what eventually became known as Leslie Canyon. The Mexican Revolution reached this border area in 1915 when Pancho Villa and his army fought in nearby Aqua Prieta. Rock fortifications remain on San Bernardino NWR and on Slaughter Ranch nearly 100 years after they sheltered U.S. Cavalry troops stationed here to protect settlers. Cattle ranching and farming continued on these lands until 1979 when The Nature Conservancy began to acquire the properties, which ultimately were established as part of the National Wildlife Refuges System.

 
 
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