The Cienega Watershed Partnership aims to preserve the natural and cultural resources of the Cienega watershed.

The La Cienega National Conservation Area includes a large watershed, 45,000 acres of open trails and camping ground and the nation's second largest ranch.

Currently, the Ciengea Watershed Partnership is looking into factors that have put watershed areas into stress, including human use, drought and climate change.

"It's definitely under stress, although it's hard to measure what that is," said Shela McFarlin, a board member of the Cienega Watershed Partnership.

McFarlin and those in the partnership work together with other organizations including the Empire Ranch Foundation.

Founded in 1876, Komrada said Empire Ranch is the second largest ranch in the United States. He encourages people to come out and visit the ranch to learn about the history and culture of the west.

"We always say out there (that) the west is not just a place on the map. It's a state of mind and way of life, and people can experience that at the Empire Ranch," said John Komrada, the former vice president of the Empire Ranch Foundation's advisory committee.