The refuge office is open Monday through Friday from 7 am to 4 pm (MDT). This is where the business of the refuge is conducted and it is closed on weekends and federal holidays. Before coming to the headquarters, visitors are encouraged to call in advance or make an appointment in case refuge staff is off site.Refuge Lands:With the exception of occasionally scheduled tours for education or research groups, the San Andres National Wildlife Refuge is closed to the public for safety and security concerns. The refuge is completely surrounded by the 2.2 million-acre White Sands Missile Range, the largest military installation in the United States. * Please note: Other than the public museum, cameras are prohibited on the White Sands Missile Range. For a magnificent view of the San Andres Mountain Range, visit the interpretive kiosk at San Augustine Pass on Highway 70 (south side) between Las Cruces and Alamogordo.Directions: The refuge office is located 10 miles east of the I-25 and Highway 70 intersection (Exit 6) in Las Cruces, New Mexico. The building is on the north side of Highway 70. The lat/long is 32.411800, -106.639920.
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In 1978, scabies was detected in the refuge’s desert bighorn population. The deadly disease spread rapidly and despite attempts to capture, treat and return healthy bighorn sheep to the San Andres Mountains, the population dwindled until only one lone ewe remained in 1997. The female wandered alone. The herd she grew up with had vanished. But in 1999, biologists released six rams captured from the Red Rock Wildlife Area of New Mexico. Follow the link below to learn more about what happened.