National Wildlife Refuge System

Scenic Views of Bosque Del Apache Scenic Views of Bosque Del Apache Scenic Views of Bosque Del Apache Scenic Views of Bosque Del Apache

Bosque Del Apache National Wildlife Refuge


About Bering Sea National Wildlife Refuge


Bosque Del Apache NWR
Bosque Del Apache National Wildlife Refuge

Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) was established in 1939 for wildlife conservation. The refuge contains approximately 57,191 acres and of that the Bosque del Apache Wilderness Area is 30,287 acres. The refuge is located along the Rio Grande at the northern edge of the Chihuahuan desert, and straddles the Rio Grande as shown in green in the map to the right.

Bosque del Apache NWR provides important breeding grounds and stopover areas for migratory birds. Species that use the refuge include cranes, snow geese (Arctic nesting geese), 14 species of ducks, Canada geese, Gambel’s quail, pheasants, roadrunners, and more than 300 other winged species. The refuge supports 79 mammal species, 20 fish species, and 67 species of reptiles and amphibians (J.P. Taylor and K.C. McDaniel).


Refuge Area and Class I Designation

  • In 1975, Congress designated part of Bosque del Apache NWR as wilderness, declaring that the area should remain undeveloped and "unimpaired" for future generations.
  • In 1977, Congress acknowledged the uniqueness of the Bosque Del Apache Wilderness Area by designating it as a Class I air quality area. As a wilderness area it is afforded special protection under the Clean Air Act.
  • Congress gave the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS), as the Federal Land Manager of the Bosque del Apache NWR, the responsibility to protect the air quality and natural resources from man-made air pollution. Despite this protection, many sources of man-made air pollution affect Bosque del Apache NWR including power plants, gas-processing plants, oil and gas wells, and motor vehicle emissions.
  • The FWS is working cooperatively with industry and the State of New Mexico to reduce air pollution emissions and protect the air quality and Air Quality Related Values (AQRVs) of Bosque del Apache NWR.
  • If the Bosque del Apache Wilderness Area is not protected, unique wildlife and scenic values will be threatened or lost. The FWS hopes to preserve and protect these special wilderness areas for future generations.


Learn more about air quality at Bosque Del Apache NWR


The FWS has begun multiple programs to better understand air pollution causes and effects at Bosque Del Apache NWR. FWS measures fine airborne particles responsible for visibility impairment in partnership with the Interagency Monitoring of Protected Visual Environments (IMPROVE) program. Atmospheric pollutants in rain are analyzed by the National Atmospheric Deposition Program and mercury in rain is measured by the Mercury Deposition Network (MDN). Within this website are the resources to discover why air pollution poses a threat to Bosque Del Apache and what the FWS is doing to prevent the deterioration of air quality in this pristine area.

  • Learn the basics of air quality - Air Quality
  • Understand what are the air quality related values - AQRV
  • Learn about how air quality can affect natural and scenic resources - Impacts
  • Find real time monitoring data and studies being performed at the refuge - Studies & Monitoring



Addition Information:
Regional Air Quality Information (as provided by NPS)
Bosque del Apache NWR Website
Bosque del Apache WA 300km Radius Map (PDF 165KB)

Last updated: November 8, 2012