In New Mexico, a wildlife refuge with urban roots
From her office in the visitor center at the still-under-construction Valle de Oro National Wildlife Refuge, Jennifer Owen-White has a perfect view of the fuel terminals and salvage yards that dot the horizon.
One day soon, there will be wetlands, trails, and saltgrass meadows in the foreground. But those fuel tanks and junked cars will still loom like a storm cloud in the distance, an “important reminder,” says Ms. Owen-White, of “what my job is and why this refuge exists.”
Valle de Oro represents something of a new dawn for Albuquerque, and in particular for Mountain View – this neighborhood in the city’s south valley. Forty federally regulated facilities, two Superfund waste sites, and a sewage treatment plant sit between the refuge and downtown Albuquerque 7 miles