Friends of Las Vegas National Wildlife Refuge

Welcome to the Friends of Las Vegas
National Wildlife Refuge! 

The Refuge belongs to the original Las Vegas; you won't find a casino for 75 miles (there are several near Santa Fe). This Refuge is in New Mexico, not Nevada. It is part of the Northern New Mexico group of wildlife refuges, including Maxwell, the new Rio Mora NWR, and, potentially the Pritzlaff Ranch. The LVNWR lies between two National Historical Parks, at Fort Union to the north, and Pecos, to the southeast. There's much to see and learn in a fairly compact area.

The Calendar of Events lists current activities at the NWR, including the Concert for the Birds in September, our annual meeting and Concert, with many games and hikes and general fun. On second Saturdays of each month, the Rio Mora holds a hike up onto the spectacular bluffs above the Mora River, where you might spy the refuge's bison herd. Keep an eye on the Calendar to find out more activities. 

Your best chance to get away from the Visitor Center is the annual Fall Flight Festival, held on the first four Sundays of November. The drive around the "back country" of the Refuge is open to auto traffic, and you can view the migrating waterfowl with the help of volunteers with spotting scopes. Other volunteers maintain a list of birds seen each day, so you can add your eagle or coot to the list. The kids are amused with crafts and games, and adults are entertained with talks by knowledgeable naturalists. 

The popular Gallinas (Chicken) trail that winds down into a bosque next to a stream in a shaded canyon is another way to see the more remote parts of the Refuge. In the spring, it teems with wildflowers, including cacti, and even tiny ferns hiding under the rocks. There is usually a Sunday lecture with a walk through the canyon to see the flowers. It is not to be missed.

The main winter activity is the Electric Light Parade ,in which the Refuge float frequently wins a prize with a float that includes critters of all kinds, in a fanciful setting created by energetic volunteers. Winter also brings Occasional lectures, owl hikes, star gazing parties, often accompanied by good food.

Being a member is fun,and  an excellent way to learn about nature in the high desert and plains, and being a volunteer is even more fun. Volunteers get a chance to see remote parts of the Refuge, to tour the infamous village of Loma Parda near Rio Mora NWR and Fort Union (every military base has its Loma Parda). Its locale is on the Mora River, and it is quite lovely all year around.

In short, the Refuge is the best way to have fun in Las Vegas without its costing you a pile of money. Watch exotic grebes and coots and mergansers nervously watching the eagles too close for comfort.

Friends of Las Vegas (New Mexico) National Wildlife Refuge

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