Shutdown Notice
Due to the lapse in federal appropriations, this website will not be updated until further notice. Where public access to refuge lands does not require the presence of a federal employee or contractor, activities on refuge lands will be allowed to continue on the same terms as before the appropriations lapse. Any entry onto Refuge System property during this period of federal government shutdown is at the visitor's sole risk. Please read this important updated message about the closure of National Wildlife Refuge System facilities during the shutdown, and refer to alerts posted on individual refuge websites for the status of visitor facilities and previously scheduled events that may still occur during the shutdown.

For more information, please visit the Department of Interior webpage at


  • Refuge video screen shot

    The Valle de Oro Story

    See how our neighborhood community is coming together to build the Southwest's first urban national wildlife refuge from the ground up.

    Watch the Video

  • JDS 2019 winner image

    New Mexico Jr. Duck Stamp

    It's time to starting thinking about the 2019 Junior Duck Stamp Art Contest. Deadline: March 15th

    Learn more on how to participate

  • Cliff Swallow Catherine Harris

    Refuge Annual Photo Contest

    We are looking for striking images of Valle de Oro—sunrise, sunset, or any time. All are welcome to enter. Deadline 12/31

    Learn more about the Photo Contest

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    Valle de Oro NWR Christmas Bird Count

    ‘Tis almost the season for Christmas Bird Counts. Please join us for our 6th CBC at Valle de Oro NWR. Saturday 12/15

    Learn how to participate

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    Thank you!

    Thank you to all who participated in our first Build Your Refuge Day. More than 400 people enjoyed the day!

Refuge Happenings

Volunteer Opportunities

Refuge Volunteer

In order to further engage our community and visitors on this new and growing refuge, Valle de Oro NWR is looking for volunteers to help staff our newly established Welcome Center. The Welcome Center is an old farm house transformed into an information and interpretive center to help visitors learn about what can be done on the refuge and how it will grow and change over the coming years. Volunteers are often needed on weekdays from 8am-4pm. Full or half day shifts are available. Other volunteer opportunities are periodically available. If you are interested in any of these volunteer opportunities or want more specifics about the program please contact: or call 505-248-6667

Refuge Hours and Map

Sunset photo

Refuge lands are open to public access 1 hour before sunrise to 1 hour after sunset daily. The Refuge Welcome Center is open Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday 8:30a.m. to 4:00p.m. and Thursday and Saturday 8:30a.m. to Noon. Visitors are encouraged to stop by the Welcome Center to learn about Refuge history, upcoming events, and updates on habitat restoration and other projects. There is no entrance fee for the Refuge.

Refuge Brochure and Map

2018 Refuge Events Calendar

Special events 2018 illustration of sandia mountains with cottonwoods

Announcing an amazing array of events in 2018. Calendar includes both Refuge and Friends of Valle de Oro events. We hope you can join us!

Valle de Oro's 2018 Events Flyer

Environmental Assessment Complete

Kildeer head close-up / © Laurel Ladwig

Valle de Oro National Wildlife Refuge is pleased to present our final Restoration, Activities, and Site Plan Environmental Assessment (EA) and Compatibility Determinations (CDs).

Click here to learn more
Around the Refuge

Construction Around the Refuge

photo of water reuse line installation

While several construction projects have been completed, the 2nd Street improvement project continues. Update: Desert Road will be closed at the railroad tracks starting 10/21. We want you to know what is happening. We are excited for all the changes and we hope you are too.

Construction Updates

Birding on the Refuge

On-line eBird Trail Tracker

Yellow-headed blackbird Bernadette Madison 218 x 116

eBird Trail Tracker is a real-time, online checklist program that has revolutionized the way that the birding community reports and accesses information about birds. A birder enters when, where, and how they went birding, then fills out a checklist of all the birds seen and heard. The observations of each participant join those of all eBird users. For more information:

eBird On-line Program to Submit Observations

Helping Our Wildlife

For our wildlife and you

American kestrel Ruby Lake NWR 135 x 115

Before visiting Valle de Oro National Wildlife Refuge, please view our refuge Rules and Regulations. These regulations help ensure our refuge continues to be a safe place for wildlife and people.

Learn more here

About the NWRS

National Wildlife Refuge System


The National Wildlife Refuge System, within the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, manages a national network of lands and waters set aside to conserve America's fish, wildlife, and plants.

Learn more about the NWRS