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Comment by Kelly on September 28, 2012 at 9:21am

That Balloon Fiesta story (poorly, poorly written), begs a bunch of different questions:

1-The Fiesta had been paying for some balloons to come?

2-The Fiesta "filled up fast" so now it doesn't have to pay for balloons to come?

3-Doesn't #2 mean they could do #1 again?

Comment by Izquierdo on September 28, 2012 at 11:12am

I was amazed to learn that a national wildlife refuge -- a big deal even as a small urban refuge -- had suddenly sprung up in Albuquerque. I know I don't read the paper much anymore, too many injured dog and police stories on the front page.  But to learn that a new refuge with the same status, if not size, as Sevilleta and Bosque del Apache had sprung up  was a shock and the nice-sized news story didn't answer critical questions.

This should have been preceded by many news stories and well publicized Environmental Impact Studies, public meetings that went well beyond the local community, and newspaper articles that went into detail about the pros and cons. After all the neighbors in the area will be confronted with a myriad of issues -- hordes of blackbirds, grackles and starlings. Coyotes will by night have their way up and down the Rio and into backyards, returning to the safety of the refuge by day. Coyotes eat little doggies, which should provide a lot of fodder for the TV news. Were any hard questions explored? Are the local supporters hopeful to shortstop sandhill cranes headed for Bosque del Apache, and take over Socorro's Festival of the Cranes?  I worry about Socorro's economy and its well established Festival of the Cranes.

Will hunting be allowed?  Hunting from blinds? What role did the State Game and Fish or hunters' groups have in this quiet move to establishment? Yes, national wildlife refuges are often open to hunting. They hunt snow geese from blinds in Bosque del Apache. Farms with corn also harbor pheasants. Pheasant hunting?  Yes, pheasants, exotic birds, roam freely in Bosque del Apache, although there has never been an open season of them, I don't think. Native wild turkeys? Fishing? Endangered Rio Grande silvery minnows? 

I know the Journal story this morning indicates that plans haven't been made yet, But the questions of how visitors will be able to access the refuge, if at all, is worth discussing in advance. 

The worst part is the name. Valle de Oro?  It has all the charm of a lower middle class subdivision. Surely there are 20 names that would be superior and reflect the geology, geography and culture of the area. Valley del Oro is so generic. It's the name of a former dairy serving Albuquerque.  Valley Gold. What about withholding a name until a mission for the refuge is established? 

Understand that I am all for refuges. I love the idea. I am only disturbed by the process. I suppose one could make the case that it had to be done now, prior to Jan. 20, it would never have been done. Come to think of it I saw nothing in the paper about federal legislation or proclamation establishing the Valle del Oro.

Comment by ramon t on September 28, 2012 at 12:40pm

It did not suddenly spring up.  I have seen articles and news stories on it for over a year.  

Here are a couple of articles from the journal dating back to Oct 2011 and Jan 2012.

Comment by Izquierdo on September 28, 2012 at 1:45pm

I told you I haven't been reading the Journal. Thanks.

Comment by Izquierdo on September 28, 2012 at 1:52pm

Ha! It was related to Valley Gold. Anyway, thanks again, Ramon, The government was doing its part, but the paper was just reprinting news releases. I'm glad to know where the support came from.


Comment by once banned twice shy on September 28, 2012 at 4:13pm

"I told you I haven't been reading the Journal."

Oh, so if you haven't read it, it doesn't exist?  Dude.

Comment by once banned twice shy on September 28, 2012 at 4:13pm

The Uncle Sam balloon is gay?  Wow.


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