Two NEW New Mexico wildlife refuges dedicated
New Mexico hit the conservation daily double on Sept. 27, when we gained two national wildlife refuges—America’s 559th and 560th. Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar, along with Sen. Jeff Bingaman, Rep. Martin Heinrich and other dignitaries and community supporters were on hand for two ceremonies celebrating land acquisitions for the new refuges.
The “Valle de Oro National Wildlife Refuge” is in Albuquerque’s South Valley at the site of the former Price’s Dairy. With the help of The Trust for Public Land, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has acquired the first 390 acres of the 570 acres proposed for the refuge.
Valle de Oro is the first urban national wildlife refuge in the Southwest. Located in the heart of the Middle Rio Grande Valley, it is an important stopover for migratory birds such as sandhill cranes, snow geese, and duck species. Fish and Wildlife plans to restore native bosque and establish recreation, environmental education, and sustainable agriculture programs on the site.
Rio Mora National Wildlife Refuge and Conservation Area is composed of more than 4,200 acres donated by the Thaw Charitable Trust of Santa Fe. The former Wind River Ranch is located in the transition zone between the Great Plains and the Southern Rocky Mountains. The Mora River flows through the center of the refuge for approximately five miles in a canyon that is 250 to 300 feet. The refuge will demonstrate sustainable range management while offering the public opportunities to enjoy wildlife-dependent
recreation, including wildlife-watching, education and hunting.
For more information on these two new refuges, visit refuge web site
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