U.S. Interior Secretary reveals name of new South Valley wildlife refuge
Posted at: 09/27/2012 11:10 AM
| Updated at: 09/27/2012 12:17 PM
By: KOB.com staff
U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar dedicated the Valle de Oro National Wildlife Refuge in Albuquerque on Thursday, making it the first urban refuge in the Southwest and one of a handful across the nation.
In his announcement in Albuquerque, Salazar unveiled the name of the refuge for the very first time.
The name, Valle de Oro (Valley of Gold), was selected following a social media campaign that solicited suggested names from local and national audiences.
Proposed exactly one year ago, the Valle de Oro National Wildlife Refuge was formally established last Friday through the acquisition of 390 acres of Valley Gold Farms, a former dairy and hay farm.
The 559th unit of the national wildlife refuge system is within a 30-minute drive of half of New Mexico’s population, providing ample outdoor recreation and education opportunities.
The former Price's Dairy operated at the site, which is in the South Valley.
Later Wednesday, Salazar will travel to Wind River Ranch near Mora, N.M. for a signing ceremony establishing the Rio Mora National Wildlife Refuge and Conservation Area on over 4,200 acres donated by the Thaw Charitable Trust.
“Today we celebrate two new jewels in the National Wildlife Refuge System -- Valle de Oro, an urban oasis for people and wildlife just five miles from downtown Albuquerque, and Rio Mora, which will serve as an anchor for cooperative conservation efforts in the Rio Mora watershed,” Salazar said in a release.
“Both refuges exemplify the goals of President Obama’s America’s Great Outdoors initiative to establish a 21st century conservation ethic built on partnerships and to fuel economic growth in local communities.”