N.M. SENATE News:
SANTA FE–Senate Memorial 36 sponsored by Sen. Michael Padilla, D-Bernalillo, cleared the Senate.
The legislation seeks to complete the final phase of funding for the Valle de Oro Urban Wildlife Refuge located along the Rio Grande River in the southern portion of Bernalillo County. Eighty acres remain to be purchased to complete the project, and the legislation will ask the federal government to make this purchase.
“This legislation is going to protect this land forever,” Padilla said. “This land will provide excellent outdoor educational opportunities for all New Mexico children.”
A coalition of government agencies including the Senate, House of Representatives and Bernalillo County have partnered with community organizations like Friends of Valle de Oro to complete this project by purchasing a tract of 580 acres that will become the refuge.
The land, previously called Valley Gold Prices’ Dairy, sits inside the flight path of many types of migratory birds and other wild life and is ideal for this type of refuge.
“New Mexico’s economy will be positively impacted by bringing visitors to the site from around the world,” Padilla said.
The refuge will be the first in an urban area, which will attract visitors, educators and researchers. The location encompasses more than 50 percent of New Mexico’s population within a half hour drive.