Three new national wildlife refuges have been established since the last issue of Friends Forward, bringing the total to 560 units in the National Wildlife Refuge System.


  • The Sangre de Cristo Conservation Area in the San Luis Valley of Colorado, for which conservationist and banker Louis Bacon donated a 77,000 acre perpetual conservation easement on his ranch.

  • The Valle de Oro National Wildlife Refuge in Albuquerque, NM, is the first urban refuge in the southwest and the site of a former dairy and hay farm. The name, which means Valley of Gold, was selected following a social media campaign.

  • The Rio Mora National Wildlife Refuge and Conservation Area, NM, located in the Great Plains and the Southern Rocky Mountains, is on land donated by Eugene and Clare Thaw, who envisioned restoring the land as a representative piece of southwestern ecological heritage.