Bosque Del Apache NWR

October 17, 2012 by  

Bosque Del Apache NWR, The Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge in southern Socorro County, New Mexico, is administered by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. It lies in the Albuquerque Basin, near the Rio Grande astride New Mexico Route 1, formerly U.S. Highway 85. The refuge was founded in 1939.

The name of the refuge means “forest of the Apache” in Spanish, referring to a time when Apaches frequently camped in the riverside forest there.

The heart of the refuge comprises approximately 3,800 acres (15 km2) of Rio Grande floodplain and 9,100 acres (37 km2) of irrigated farms and wetlands. In addition to this, the refuge contains 44,300 acres (179 km2) of arid grasslands and foothills of the Chupadera and San Pascual Mountains. About 30,000 acres (120 km2) of this is designated as wilderness. A twelve mile (19 km) long loop road divided by a cutoff into a “Farm Loop” and “Marsh Loop” allows automobile drivers excellent views of wetland wildlife and raptors, and there are several short (1.5 to 10 miles) walking trails. The road affords good views of the fields where crops are grown for the benefit of the birds under cooperative agreements with farmers. Adjacent to the Visitor’s Center, a desert plant garden is maintained.

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