About the Refuge Complex

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Alamosa, Monte Vista, and Baca National Wildlife Refuges are areas set aside for migratory birds and resident wildlife. The Refuges are now combined administratively to form the San Luis Valley Refuges Complex. These Refuges are a part of the National Wildlife Refuge System, a network of lands set aside and managed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service specifically for wildlife. The Refuge System is a living heritage, conserving wildlife and habitat for people today and generations to come.

The 12,026 acre Alamosa Refuge includes wetland areas, riparian corridors, wet meadows, and river oxbows. The wetland and river habitats provide a wildlife oasis in this dry region. These habitats support a variety of wildlife, including songbirds, water birds, raptors, deer, beavers, coyotes, and more.

The artificially created wetlands on Monte Vista’s 14,804 acres are intensively managed to provide habitat for a wide variety of waterfowl and other water birds. Mallards, pintails, teal, and Canada geese are common, as are American avocets, killdeer, white-faced ibis, egrets, and herons. Irrigation canals and wells provide precious water to maintain this important habitat.

The 92,500 acre Baca Refuge is a highly diverse combination of shrublands, grasslands, wet meadows, playa wetlands, and riparian areas. This Refuge was set aside not only as another haven for migratory birds and resident wildlife, but also as an important piece in a broader conservation effort to protect the wildlife, habitat, and water of the north and eastern portions of the San Luis Valley.