Proposal With Many Partners Would Protect 389 Acres in South Valley Along Rio Grande
The Bernalillo County Commission this evening moved forward on contributing $5 million toward the purchase of a new urban wildlife refuge and establishing a conservation easement at the site of the former Price’s Dairy in the South Valley. Both moves would help protect 389 acres as open space, permanently.
The money would go toward the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s efforts to acquire 389 acres and convert it to the first urban wildlife refuge in the southwestern United States.
“This is a major step forward for new open space in Bernalillo County, and the purchase of this property can lead to new opportunities in recreation, tourism and education,” Commission Chair Art De La Cruz says. “Securing this open space means improving our quality of life and preserving a beautiful riverfront property just minutes away from the heart of New Mexico’s largest city.”
The commission moved the $5 million into an expenditure account in preparation for final closing on 389 acres in September. The commission allocated the money two years ago. Tuesday’s move means the funds will be ready for an anticipated purchase in late September.
Bernalillo County’s contribution also means the county will receive a conservation easement that guarantees the property will always be preserved as open space.
The total purchase price of the 389 acres is $11.6 million. This is the first phase of protecting the property, which totals 570 acres.
Other agencies involved in this purchase include the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service; the federal Bureau of Reclamation; The Trust For Public Land and the Albuquerque Metropolitan Arroyo Flood Control Authority. The purchase of the 389 acres is currently scheduled for late September.
Bernalillo County, The Trust for Public Land and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service are also looking for ways to purchase the remaining 181 acres.
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