National Wildlife Refuge
|Route 1 Box 399
Las Vegas, NM 87701
Phone Number: 505-425-3581
|Visit the Refuge's Web Site:
|Common scenes at Las Vegas National Wildlife Refuge.|
Continued . . . Coronado invaded and claimed the territory for Spain in 1540 as he searched for the legendary "Seven Cities of Cibola". Conquistadors and missionaries followed close on Coronado's heels and established Spanish rule. Nomadic tribes of Plains Indians and Comanches roamed through on their excursions west to raid the pueblos and early Spanish settlements.
The area's Spanish influence and culture are as prevalent today as more than 400 years ago. You'll still find rock corrals and division fences of the small ranchitos that dotted this landscape during that era.
The historic Santa Fe Trail and the railroad brought a brief wave of economic progress to the Las Vegas area at the turn of the century. Rangelands that gave way to farms and plows today have come full circle. Large ranches gradually displaced small ranches and cattle graze throughout this part of New Mexico.
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