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Bosque del Apache
National Wildlife Refuge

Thousands of Sandhill Cranes visit Bosque del Apache NWR each year.
P.O. Box 280
San Antonio, NM   87832
E-mail: FW2_RW_Bosque_del_Apache@fws.gov
Phone Number: 575-835-1828
Visit the Refuge's Web Site:
Sandhill Cranes at Bosque del Apache NWR.
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Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge
Bosque del Apache, which means "woods of the Apache", was named for the people who often camped in the riverside forest. Today it is known as one of the most spectacular Refuges in North America.

This 57,331 acre refuge straddles the Rio Grande Valley in Socorro County, New Mexico. It ranges in elevation from 4,500 to 6,195 feet above sea level. It receives approximately 8 inches of precipitation each year. Within the refuge borders lie three wilderness areas totaling approximately 30,850 acres and five research natural areas totaling 18,500 acres.

Getting There . . .
Situated just off Interstate 25 midway between Albuquerque and Las Cruces, Socorro is the nearest town to the refuge. To reach the refuge from Socorro, drive south on I-25 to exit 139 (San Antonio), continue east one-fourth mile on US 380 to the flashing signal at San Antonio, turn right onto Old Highway 1, continue south eight miles to the Visitor Center. From Las Cruces, drive north on I-25 to exit 124 (San Maracial), travel east on gravel road to Old Highway 1, then go north on Old Highway 1 to the visitor center.

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These driving directions are provided as a general guide only. No representation is made or warranty given as to their content, road conditions or route usability or expeditiousness. User assumes all risk of use.

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Wildlife and Habitat

Each autumn, tens of thousands of birds, including sandhill cranes, geese and ducks, make the Refuge their winter home.

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Bosque del Apache has been inhabited for centuries. Over 700 years ago, Piro Indians came to the valley for its fertile soil and abundant plant and animal life.

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    Recreation and Education Opportunities
Environmental Education
Wildlife Observation
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Management Activities
To provide food, water, shelter, and space for wildlife, several management techniques are used at Bosque del Apache NWR. Farmers grow crops on the refuge for wintering waterfowl and cranes. Farmers plant alfalfa and corn, harvesting the alfalfa and leaving the corn for wildlife. The refuge staff also grows corn, winter wheat, clover, and native plants as additional food.

Many of the water management activities on the refuge imitate the ebb and flow of the Rio Grande before channelization and dams. Water levels in marshes are manipulated in order to create moist fields that promote growth of native marsh plants. Marsh management is rotated so that varied habitats are always available.

Many cottonwood and willow bosques that once lined the Rio Grande have been lost to human development. Salt cedar, an exotic plant introduced for erosion control, has invaded vast areas of the refuge. In order to restore native bosques that have higher value for wildlife, salt cedar is being cleared and many areas are being planted with cottonwood, black willow, shrubs, and other understory plants.

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