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Maggie OíConnell (505) 835-1828 or Elizabeth Slown (505) 248-6909 or Don Kearney (505) 400-6028

Salt Cedar Burn Project at Bosque del Apache

Conditions permitting, fire crews from the U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service will conduct a prescribed burn at Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge near Socorro, New Mexico during the week of September 15.  The burn will remove dead stands of salt cedars previously treated with herbicides and help to reduce any resprouting of the invasive plant. 
Prescribed fire applied to small units of chemically treated salt cedar over a four year period will ultimately result in the treatment of approximately 805 acres of refuge lands. The benefits of this treatment will be a reduced fuels load, the eventual natural restoration of native vegetation and an enhanced wildlife habitat.
Existing barriers such as roads, levees and ditches will serve as fire restraints along with newly constructed dozer lines.
Smoke will be visible in the area from the onset and may last up to three days.  Monitoring patrols will be conducted until smoke is no longer visible within the burned area.
Bosque Del Apache National Wildlife Refuge and the visitorís center will remain open to the public during the burn period.  However, for reasons of safety the public will not be allowed near the burn units and portions of the southern tour loop may be closed during the burning period.  The public is welcome to check on the status of the event and possible tour road closures at the Refuge visitorís center during the hours of  7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., or by calling (505)-835-1828.  
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is the principal Federal agency responsible for conserving, protecting and enhancing fish, wildlife and plants and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. The Service manages the 95-million-acre National Wildlife Refuge System which encompasses nearly 540 national wildlife refuges, thousands of small wetlands and other special management areas. It also operates 69 national fish hatcheries, 64 fishery resource offices and 78 ecological services field stations. The agency enforces Federal wildlife laws, administers the Endangered Species Act, manages migratory bird populations, restores nationally significant fisheries, conserves and restores wildlife habitat such as wetlands, and helps foreign governments with their conservation efforts. It also oversees the Federal Aid program that distributes hundreds of millions of dollars in excise taxes on fishing and hunting equipment to state fish and wildlife agencies.



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