Friends of Las Vegas National Wildlife Refuge

New Rio Mora National Wildlife Refuge

02 Oct 2012 5:02 PM | Anonymous
Refuge Manager Rob LarraƱaga and a team of Refuge officials from Las Vegas to Washington have been working for more than a year to create a new Wildlife Refuge in Mora County, not far from Fort Union National Historical Park. The former Wind River Ranch was donated by its owners, the Thaw Charitable Trust, who had built the ranch into an important center for environmental research and education. It will continue in that function as a wildlife refuge.

The Refuge is the 560th to be created since President Teddy Roosevelt declared Pelican Island on the east coast of Florida a bird refuge in 1903.

The gift includes 4,224 acres of canyon and grasslands along the Mora River, with views extending back to the Sangre de Cristo mountains. It is easily one of the loveliest pieces of land in the state. It attracts much wildlife to its shelter, and it harbors a herd of bison managed in cooperation with the Native Americans of New Mexico.

On September 27, Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar and Southwest Regional Director Dr. Benjamin Tuggle, along with many other dignitaries, came to the Wind River Ranch to sign the official documents creating the new Refuge. Go to the Photo Album: Rio Mora National Wildlife Refuge for photos of the signing event. Go to the Dept. Interior for an official press release, also covering the 559th Refuge, also in New Mexico, the Valle de Oro NWR in Albuquerque.

A short video on YouTube shows glimpses of the new Refuge and Dr. Tuggle's speech.

Thanks to Leslie LarraĆ£ga for her photo of Secretary Salazar (green shirt and white hat) with Las Vegas and Maxwell NWR employees, staff of the Wind River Ranch, and Friends of Las Vegas National Wildlife Refuge (white shirts).

Secretary Ken Salazar with Refuge employees and Friends (white shirts)


  • 10 Oct 2012 12:55 AM | Sonya Berg
    A great bunch of people all of whom are dedicated to conserving habit, resources and land in our country. This was a wonderful day!
    Link  •  Reply

Friends of Las Vegas (New Mexico) National Wildlife Refuge

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