About Us

Rio Mora National Wildlife Refuge and Conservation Area, established in 2012, is located in the transition zone between the Great Plains and the Southern Rocky Mountains. The refuge is 4,224 acres and has shortgrass prairie, riparian riparian
Definition of riparian habitat or riparian areas.

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wetlands, piñon/juniper, oak, and coniferous forests. Five miles of the Mora River meanders through the refuge. The variety of habitat support a wide range of animal and plant life. Rio Mora National Wildlife Refuge partners with many organizations and facilitates research, outreach, interpretation and environment education. 

Our Mission

The mission of the National Wildlife Refuge System is to administer a national network of lands and waters for the conservation, management and, where appropriate, restoration of the fish, wildlife and plant resources and their habitats within the United States for the benefit of present and future generations of Americans. 

Our Purpose

Every national wildlife refuge national wildlife refuge
A national wildlife refuge is typically a contiguous area of land and water managed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service  for the conservation and, where appropriate, restoration of fish, wildlife and plant resources and their habitats for the benefit of present and future generations of Americans.

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was created for a special purpose. Some were created to protect migratory birds, others to protect threatened or endangered species or unique habitats, while others fulfill another special purpose. Refuges are special places where wildlife comes first. All activities allowed on refuges must be evaluated to make sure each activity will not conflict with the reason the refuge was founded. 

The purpose of Rio Mora National Wildlife Refuge is for the conservation, management and restoration of the fish, wildlife, plants and their habitats for the benefit of present and future generations of Americans. 

What is a Conservation Area?  

The Rio Mora Conservation Area was established in 2012 in connection with the establishment of Rio Mora National Wildlife Refuge. The conservation area conservation area
A conservation area or wildlife management area is a type of national wildlife refuge that consists primarily or entirely of conservation easements on private lands. These conservation easements support private landowner efforts to protect important habitat for fish and wildlife. There are 13 conservation areas and nine wildlife management areas in the National Wildlife Refuge System.

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is part of a larger landscape conservation strategy to protect a unique, highly diverse ecosystem. Within the conservation area, we hope to facilitate partnerships to provide protection and management for a number of priority species and ecosystems in the larger landscape. This will contribute to maintaining the biological integrity and sustainable human uses of the area, maintaining both rare and common species, and supporting the ecological function and resiliency within the larger landscape. The Rio Mora Conservation Area is the 952,000-acre Mora River watershed. As the name suggests, the Mora River is the center and from it are tributaries such as the Sapello River, Coyote Creek, and many others. This landscape is important for migrating birds like the long-billed curlew and endangered species like the New Mexico meadow jumping mouse. 

Our History

September 27, 2012 - Philanthropists Eugene V. and Clare E. Thaw donated this property, formerly the Wind River Ranch, to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. The refuge continues the Thaws’ vision of protecting the watershed and providing education about natural and cultural heritage. 

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