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Salazar in New Mexico to dedicate 2 national refuges
First Published Sep 27 2012 03:02 pm • Last Updated Sep 27 2012 03:03 pm

Valle de Oro National Wildlife Refuge, N.M. • Interior Secretary Ken Salazar says New Mexico is making some history.

He made two stops in the state Thursday to dedicate a pair of new national wildlife refuges, including the first urban refuge in the Southwest. Salazar says this marks the first time two refuges have been dedicated in one state on the same day.

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The public helped choose the name of the urban refuge — Valle de Oro, which is Spanish for Valley of Gold. It’s located along the Rio Grande on the southern edge of Albuquerque.

The first 390 acres and associated water rights were acquired last week, and local and federal officials are working to purchase another 180 acres.

Federal wildlife managers say the water rights will help ease pressures along the already taxed Rio Grande.

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