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17th Annual Festival of the Cranes
Southwest Region, November 21, 2004
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Bosque del Apache NWR, the Friends of the Bosque and the city of Socorro hosted the annual festival with a turn out of thousands of visitors, birders and school kids. This annual event allows visitors to see how wetlands and moist soil units produce habitat and seed resources needed for migratory birds wintering on the refuge. Various tours are given daily with a variety of special tours targeting waterfowl and raptor identification and sandhill crane behavior. Behind the scenes tours are given daily and this allows visitors a chance to see newly restored areas once infested with salt cedar and future plans for riparian and xeric plant communities. The tours are also routed through the refuges' 1100 acre farm area where corn is grown and fed out during the winter for supplemental feeding for migratory birds. This festival was dedicated to John Taylor whose dedication through research to eradicate salt cedar made him a pioneer in controlling this exotic. Also in his dedication, two memorial funds were set up and funds received going to restoration on the refuge. During the weekend, almost 4,200 people came into the visitor center with sales over $26,000 and Fee entries totaling over $3,000.

Contact Info: Martin Valdez, 505-248-6599, martin_valdez@fws.gov



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