Monday, January 14, 2013
Commissioner Art De La Cruz joined U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar and other officials in Florida Jan. 11 to celebrate the establishment of six new wildlife refuges across the country, including the South Valley’s Valle de Oro National Wildlife Refuge.
Secretary Salazar and other officials gathered to lay commemorative planks for the new refuges on a walkway at Pelican Island National Wildlife Refuge, the first in the nation established by President Theodore Roosevelt in 1903. The walkway commemorates all of the nation’s 561 wildlife refuges, wildlife management areas and conservation areas.
Commissioner De La Cruz was a driving force behind the establishment of Valle de Oro National Wildlife Refuge, the southwest’s first urban national wildlife refuge. Valle de Oro was established in September, 2012.
The refuge covers 390 acres at the site of the former Price’s Dairy farm at 7851 2nd Street S.W, along the Rio Grande bosque.
“I appreciate Secretary Salazar’s invitation to join him and other representatives to commemorate this past year’s new wildlife refuges at Pelican Island last Friday,” Commissioner De La Cruz says. “I will continue to partner with our neighborhoods to identify positive education and economic development opportunities at Valle de Oro in our beautiful South Valley.”
The six additions to the National Wildlife Refuge system designated in 2012 include: Everglades Headwaters National Wildlife Refuge and Conservation Area; Swan Valley Conservation Area; Sangre de Cristo Conservation Area; Valle de Oro National Wildlife Refuge; Rio Mora National Wildlife Refuge and Conservation Area; Hackmatack National Wildlife Refuge; and the renaming of the Noxubee National Wildlife Refuge to the Sam D. Hamilton Noxubee National Wildlife Refuge.
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