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San Andres National Wildlife Refuge rugged mountainous terrain / USFWS“All conservation of wildness is self-defeating, for to cherish we must see and fondle, and when enough have seen and fondled, there is no wilderness left to cherish.”    ― Aldo Leopold 

San Andres National Wildlife Refuge is closed to the general public for safety and security concerns.  The refuge is completely surrounded by and accessed through the 2.2 million acre Department of Defense, Department of the Army, White Sands Missile Range; which is the largest military installation in the United States.

The Missile Range conducts missile testing maneuvers and low flying missions on a limited notice basis which will mandate sections of the Range and access through the Range to be closed to all.  Our refuge staff are subject to all of the security restrictions and access blocks imposed by the Missile Range.  There are also a number of unexploded ordinances throughout the Missile Range's lands and possibly within the refuge's boundaries. These hazardous devices may still be active today and can explode at the slightest contact.  Due to concerns for public safety, access onto and through the Missile Range's lands is limited.  With San Andres National Wildlife Refuge encompassed within the Missile Range's lands, the security restrictions imposed by the Department of Defense mandates the refuge to be closed to the immediate public.

It is part of wisdom never to revisit a wilderness, for the more golden the lily, the more certain that someone has gilded it.”   ― Aldo Leopold 

Aldo Leopold (1887-1948), an American wildlife ecologist-conservationist-environmentalist.  He worked mainly in the southwest throughout Arizona and New Mexico.  With his urging, the country’s first national wilderness area (Gila Wilderness Area in New Mexico) was created in 1924.  Leopold was a visionary conservationist, outdoor enthusiast, philosopher, educator, and writer.  His book, "A Sand County Almanac," has been read by millions around the globe.

Page Photo Credits — San Andres National Wildlife Refuge rugged mountainous terrain / USFWS
Last Updated: Jun 20, 2014
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