Alamosa

National Wildlife Refuge - Colorado

The Alamosa National Wildlife Refuge is located in the San Luis Valley along the east side of the Rio Grande approximately 8 miles (13 km) southeast of Alamosa, Colorado. The site consists of wet meadows, river oxbows and riparian corridor primarily within the flood plain of the Rio Grande, and dry uplands vegetated with greasewood and saltbush. These areas support a small but rich biodiversity including songbirds, water birds, raptors, red fox, mule deer, black bear, beaver and coyotes.

brochures

Brochure of Alamosa National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) in Colorado. Published by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS).Alamosa - Brochure

Brochure of Alamosa National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) in Colorado. Published by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS).

Hunting and Fishing brochure of Alamosa National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) in Colorado. Published by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS).Alamosa - Hunting and Fishing

Hunting and Fishing brochure of Alamosa National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) in Colorado. Published by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS).

Rio Grande River Trail brochure at Alamosa National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) in Colorado. Published by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS).Alamosa - Rio Grande River Trail

Rio Grande River Trail brochure at Alamosa National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) in Colorado. Published by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS).

Wildlife of Alamosa National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) in Colorado. Published by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS).Alamosa - Wildlife

Wildlife of Alamosa National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) in Colorado. Published by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS).

Alamosa NWR https://www.fws.gov/refuge/alamosa https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alamosa_National_Wildlife_Refuge The Alamosa National Wildlife Refuge is located in the San Luis Valley along the east side of the Rio Grande approximately 8 miles (13 km) southeast of Alamosa, Colorado. The site consists of wet meadows, river oxbows and riparian corridor primarily within the flood plain of the Rio Grande, and dry uplands vegetated with greasewood and saltbush. These areas support a small but rich biodiversity including songbirds, water birds, raptors, red fox, mule deer, black bear, beaver and coyotes.
­­­ San Luis Valley National Wildlife Refuge Complex 9383 El Rancho Lane Alamosa, CO 81101 719 / 589 4021 719 / 587 0595 fax alamosa@fws.gov http://www.fws.gov/refuge/alamosa For State relay service TTY / Voice: 711 U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service http://www.fws.gov For Refuge Information 1 800 / 344 WILD Reprinted November 2019 White-faced ibis Dave Menke / USFWS U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Alamosa and Monte Vista National Wildlife Refuges Sandhill cranes silhouetted against a morning sky Dave Menke / USFWS In a high mountain valley in south-central Colorado, the sun rises above a tapestry of wetlands and agricultural fields. The sounds of cranes, geese, and ducks fill the air as the sun rises in the sky. An elk herd feeds on grasses in a meadow. This blue goose, designed by J.N. “Ding” Darling, is the symbol of the National Wildlife Refuge System. Canada geese rise off frozen wetlands on Monte Vista NWR. Welcome to Alamosa and Monte Vista National Wildlife Refuges (NWR), two of the three refuges in the San Luis Valley NWR Complex. These Refuges are places for people and wildlife. The San Luis Valley has long been a sanctuary for humans and wildlife. The valley was once inhabited by the Ute Indians who lived off an abundance of elk, deer, pronghorn, small game, and waterfowl. Comanche parties occasionally came into the valley to hunt. In 1694, an early Spanish explorer, Diego de Vargas, was the first recorded European in the San Luis Valley. Lieutenant Zebulon Pike’s 1806-1807 expedition traveled through the valley when it was still a Spanish territory. At the conclusion of the Mexican War in 1848, the valley became American territory. A “ditch boom” in the 1880s sent irrigation canals fanning out through the valley, making it agriculturally productive. The development of mines, ranches, farms, and railroads soon led to the establishment of small communities throughout the valley and surrounding mountains. USFWS A Crossroads for People and Wildlife Hollingsworth / USFWS High Mountain Valley Refuges Swainson’s hawk Realizing the urgent need for a place for waterfowl and other wildlife in the valley, the Migratory Bird Conservation Commission created Monte Vista National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) in 1952. Alamosa NWR was established in 1962 as another haven for migratory birds and other wildlife in the valley. In 1979, the two Refuges were combined administratively into the AlamosaMonte Vista National Wildlife Refuge Complex. In 2003, an area to the north of these two refuges became Baca NWR. While Baca NWR is not currently open to the public, all these refuges are now managed as part of the San Luis Valley NWR Complex. Alamosa and Monte Vista NWRs are two of over 565 refuges in the National Wildlife Refuge System – a network of lands set aside and managed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service specifically for wildlife. The Refuge System is a living heritage, conserving wildlife and habitat for people today and generations to come. Alamosa NWR The 12,026 acres that make up Alamosa NWR include upland areas, riparian corridors, wet meadows, and river oxbows. The wetland and river habitats provide a wildlife oasis in this dry region. These habitats support a variety of wildlife, including songbirds, water birds, raptors, deer, beavers, coyotes, and more. Monte Vista NWR The artificially created wetlands on Monte Vista NWR’s 14,804 acres are intensively managed to provide habitat for a wide variety of waterfowl and other water birds. Mallards, pintails, teal, and Canada geese are common, as are American avocets, killdeer, white-faced ibis, egrets, and herons. Irrigation canals and wells provide precious water to maintain the important wetland habitat. Managing Habitats for a Variety of Wildlife The mission of both Alamosa NWR and Monte Vista NWR is to provide food, cover, migration, and breeding habitat for migratory birds and other wildlife. Both Refuges conserve and enhance the mixture of wetland and desert habitats found in the area to accomplish these goals. Habitat management tools used on the Refuges include water and wetland management, farming, grazing, and prescribed fire. Water – A Vital Substance Water is the lifeblood of the San Luis Valley and the Refuges within it. While only 7 inches of precipitation falls annually in the valley, spring snow melt from the Sangre de Cristo Range and San Juan Mountains provides essential water to the valley. The melting snow feeds the Rio Grande and valley streams and replenishes underground water. This inflow of water creates a unique mosaic of wetland and desert habitats, each with its own plant and animal community. When water is in short supply, as in drought years, migratory birds sometimes are forced to pass by the Refuges and private and State-owned wetlands in search of wetter areas. Locally nesting birds may fail to nest, and other wildlife may decline. Dave Menke / USFWS Killdeer Dave Menke / USFWS Cinnamon teal Water Manage
U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service Alamosa Hunting Regulations Table Hunting is in accordance with State regulations. In addition, Refuge-specifc regulations must be followed and are listed in the table below. National Wildlife Refuge Hunting and Fishing Activity Season Dates and Harvest American coot, State season and regulations dove, duck, apply goose, merganser, Wilson’s snipe Other Regulations Eurasian collared-dove hunting only allowed during the mourning dove season. Method of take includes shotguns, handheld bows, and hawking/falconry. The use of dogs for hunting and retrieving is permitted. Dogs must be under immediate control and may not interfere with other hunter’s activities. Decoys and blinds cannot be left unattended and must be removed from the hunting area daily. Non-toxic shot is required for all shotgun hunting. Possession of lead shot while in the feld is prohibited. Cottontail, jackrabbit State season and regulations apply Method of take includes shotguns, rifes fring rimfre cartridges less than .23 caliber, handheld bows, pellet guns, slingshots, and hawking/falconry. Non-toxic shot is required for all shotgun hunting. Possession of lead shot while in the feld is prohibited. Elk Special Refuge Access Elk Permit required Hunters must have a valid State elk hunting license, and apply for and receive a Special Refuge Access Elk Permit through Colorado Parks and Wildlife. Contact 719-587-6900 or email: montevista.wildlife@state.co.us. See map for areas open to hunting. Turn in Poachers - TIPS 1-844-FWS-TIPS (397-8477) or 1-877-COLO-OGT (265-6648) The Blue Goose is the symbol of the National Wildlife Refuge System, a network of lands and waters managed for the beneft of wildlife and people. Welcome Welcome to Alamosa National Wildlife Refuge (NWR). Established in 1962, Alamosa NWR contains 12,026 acres of wetland and upland habitat along the Rio Grande in southcentral Colorado. A large portion of the Refuge is designated as a wildlife sanctuary and is closed to public access. General Information Activities are permitted one hour before legal sunrise until one hour after legal sunset This brochure contains information for limited migratory birds and small game hunting, and fshing on the Alamosa NWR. If you would like information about elk hunting, only allowed with a Special Refuge Access Elk Permit, contact Refuge staff at 719-589-4021. Safety Be aware of and courteous to other hunters, visitors, and staff while hunting. Fishing is not allowed on the Chicago dam due to dangerous undercurrents. Prohibited Activities • Camping and fres. • Possession or consumption of alcohol while hunting. • Possession of a controlled substance or drug paraphernalia. • Unmanned aircraft systems, including drones. • Littering, including spent shell casings. • Searching for or removing cultural artifacts, fossils, or animal parts, including antler sheds. Firearms Persons possessing, transporting, or carrying frearms on National Wildlife Refuge System lands must comply with all provisions of State and local law. Persons may only use (discharge) frearms in accordance with refuge regulations (50 CFR 27.42 and specifc refuge regulations in 50 CFR Part 32.) Possession of frearms in Federal facilities and buildings is prohibited under 18 USC 930(a). Vehicles Off-highway vehicles, such as snowmobiles, all-terrain vehicles (ATVs), or utility terrain vehicles (UTVs) cannot be used on the refuge. The use of game carts or other non-motorized methods to transport hunting equipment to and from the hunting area is allowed. Hunters may access hunting and fshing areas by foot from public roads. All vehicles on the Refuge must be parked in designated parking areas. Access to the non-motorized portion of the hunting and fshing area is limited to walking, horseback, and bicycling, including e-bikes. Bicycles and e-bikes are restricted to established roads. E-bikes are bicycles with a small electric motor (less than 1 horsepower). The operator of an e-bike may only use the small electric motor to assist pedal propulsion. The motor may not be used to propel an e-bike without the rider also pedaling, except in locations open to public motor vehicle traffc. Accessibility Equal opportunity to participate in and beneft from programs and activities of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is available to all individuals regardless of physical or mental ability. For more information please contact the U.S. Department of the Interior, Offce of Equal Opportunity, https://www.doi.gov/pmb/eeo/ public-civil-rights. Hunting and Fishing Regulations Hunting and fshing are permitted in accordance with Federal regulations governing public use on National Wildlife Refuges as set forth in Title 50 of the Code of Federal Regulations. Hunting and fshing are allowed on the Refuge in accordance with State regulations and the Refugespecifc regulations in this brochure. Fishing Regulations State fshing regulations and permits apply to the Alamos
El Rancho Lane San Luis Valley National Wildlife Refuges 9383 El Rancho Lane Alamosa, CO 81101 719 / 589 4021 719 / 587 0595 fax alamosa@fws.gov http://alamosa.fws.gov Trailhead For State relay service TTY / Voice: 711 U.S Fish and Wildlife Service http://www.fws.gov Ri o Gr and e Riv er For Refuge Information 1 800 / 344 WILD Alamosa July 2009 National Wildlife Refuge Refuge Boundary Rio Grande Nature Trail Refuge Road Refuge Headquarters End of Trail Restrooms 0 Miles .5 N 0 Kilometers .5 17 160 El Rancho Lane 285 160 Alamosa Road 8 South Ri 370 o Gr an de Riv er Alamosa NWR 285 N 0 miles 0 kilometers 8 8 U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service Alamosa National Wildlife Refuge Rio Grande River Trail About the Trail This goose, designed by J.N. “Ding” Darling, is the symbol of the National Wildlife Refuge System. The Rio Grande River has long been considered the life blood of the San Luis Valley and of Alamosa National Wildlife Refuge (NWR). While much of the river’s dynamic nature has been tamed, it still provides countless wildlife benefits throughout its course. Alamosa NWR includes more than 15 miles of critical riparian habitat adjacent to the river. The Refuge’s Rio Grande River trail gives you access to 2 miles of this habitat for wildlife viewing and photography. Please take this brochure with you for information about the habitat, the management, and the wildlife seen along the trail. For a bird’s eye view of the historic wanderings of the Rio Grande River and current water management activities, take a drive to the Bluff Overlook area on the east side of the Refuge. Riparian Habitats This diverse mosaic of habitat types is crucial to the survival of a host of wildlife species on the Refuge. The lush grasses provide excellent nesting habitat for the numerous waterfowl species on the Refuge. The tall cottonwoods provide nesting and roost sites for a variety of raptors, including large concentrations of wintering bald eagles. ■ The trail is open to pedestrian Trail Regulations visits from sunrise to sunset. ■ Please stay on the trail. ■ Leashed pets are welcome. ■ Bicycles are permitted, but bicyclists must respect the rights of the other users. ■ Hunting and fishing are prohibited. ■ Please don’t litter. Pack it in, pack it out! Water Management The most critical component of the riparian zone along the Rio Grande River is the low growing dense stands of willow. These willows provide important habitat for the endangered southwestern willow flycatcher, which use them for nesting and for feeding on the abundant insects along the river. Numerous year-round residents, including elk and mule deer, use the riparian corridor throughout the year. The dense stands of willow provide secure fawning areas for the deer, as well as excellent thermal cover during the winter months. For nearly 150 years, farmers have diverted flows from the river to irrigate the arid landscapes of the San Luis Valley. This practice has significantly limited the river’s flow pattern, altering the river’s ability to move across the landscape as it had done for hundreds of thousands of years. The reduced flows considerably impacted the riparian areas. Along the east side of the trail is the Chicago Ditch, which was established in the early 1900s for irrigation. The U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service currently owns all the water rights associated with this ditch. The Service uses the water to simulate the annual flooding which historically occurred across the landscape and to manage thousands of acres of wetland habitats within the Refuge for the benefit of migratory birds. Along the trail you will see a wide variety of habitat types, from lush grasses, to dense stands of willow, to towering cottonwood trees. All these plant species benefit from the readily available water provided by the river. What To See Spring Typically, the river is one of the first major areas of water to open up within the valley, attracting large numbers of waterfowl. Large concentrations of bald eagles roost along the river during this time to feed on the arriving waterfowl as well as on the numerous winter killed fish found along the banks. As migration progresses, a variety of songbird species use the riparian corridor. Summer Watch for waterfowl and wading birds using the river to rest and feed as well as to nest in the dense grasses. Numerous songbirds nest in the willow habitats along the river, including the southwestern willow flycatcher. Beaver and muskrats are abundant in the river and in the Chicago Ditch. Fall Look for concentrations of shorebirds and wading birds along the shallow riverbanks. Waterfowl, especially Canada geese, frequent the river during this time. Occasional sandhill cranes spend the day loafing along the river. Fall migrations of numerous songbirds provide great wildlife viewing opportunities as well. Winter As the river freezes, wintering bald eagles congregate along the rive
U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service Alamosa and Monte Vista National Wildlife Refuges Wildlife List Alamosa and Monte Vista National Wildlife Refuges The San Luis Valley of south-central Colorado is home to three National Wildlife Refuges, Alamosa, Monte Vista, and Baca. Over the course of a year, these National Wildlife Refuges provide crucial feeding, resting, and breeding habitat for over 200 bird species and a variety of other wildlife. Ninety-five percent of the Rocky Mountain population of greater sandhill cranes stop twice a year at This goose Monte Vista National Wildlife Refuge designed by J.N. (NWR). In spring, sandhill cranes, “Ding” Darling, waterfowl, and other migrating birds has become the stop at Monte Vista NWR to refuel symbol of the on their journey to northern breeding National Wildlife grounds. As they migrate to southern Refuge System. wintering grounds in the fall, the cranes stop again at the Refuge to refuel. Refuge farm fields and privately-owned croplands provide essential feeding habitat in close proximity to safe roosting areas found on Monte Vista NWR. Many waterfowl species stay on the Refuge through the summer to breed and rear young. Monte Vista NWR is one of the most productive duck breeding wetlands in North America. Early summer also brings nesting shorebirds and water birds to all three Refuges. Throughout the summer, the riparian corridor along the Rio Grande at Alamosa NWR offers habitat for many species of songbirds, including the rare southwestern willow flycatcher. When winter hits the valley, some waterfowl can be found, but raptors dominate the Refuges’ landscape. Short-eared owls winter and breed on the refuges while bald eagles can be seen fishing and roosting along the Rio Grande at Alamosa NWR. Elk, deer, coyotes, porcupines, and beaver are some of the other wildlife you may see while visiting the refuges. Resident deer and elk are found on the refuges year round, while migrating herds are seen in the fall and winter moving from higher elevations to the valley floor. Seasonal Abundance Sandhill crane USFWS a abundant - numerous and easily found in appropriate habitat c common - should be found in appropriate habitat with little search effort u uncommon - might see in appropriate habitat o occasional - seen only a few times during the season r rare - observed once or twice every 2 - 5 years Ac accidental - observed only a few times in the history of the Refuge Common Bird Name Sp S Loons Pacific Loon Common Loon Ac Ac Grebes • Pied-billed Grebe • Eared Grebe • Western Grebe Clark’s Grebe c u o o Pelicans American White Pelican o Cormorants Double-crested Cormorant r Bitterns, Herons, and Egrets • American Bittern Least Bittern Great Blue Heron Great Egret • Snowy Egret Little Blue Heron • Cattle Egret Green Heron • Black-crowned Night-Heron u Ac u o c u r c Ibises and Spoonbills • White-faced Ibis c Swans, Geese, and Ducks Greater White-fronted Goose Snow Goose Ross’ Goose • Canada Goose Tundra Swan Wood Duck • Gadwall • American Wigeon • Mallard • Blue-winged Teal • Cinnamon Teal • Northern Shoveler • Northern Pintail • Green-winged Teal Canvasback • Redhead Ring-necked Duck Greater Scaup Lesser Scaup r o r a r r a c a c a c a a u c u r c F c u o o c u u u c o a r u u a a c r a u a c a c c a r c r r o a u r c a W r o r a r r a u a c a u c c r c r r r o r a r o r a r r c u Common Bird Name Sp S F W u o Ac c Ac c c o o r r c o o u c o o Ac c c r o u r u c o o c c o o u c c r c u o c r c u Falcons and Caracaras • American Kestrel Merlin Peregrine Falcon Prairie Falcon c r o u c r o u c o o u o o r u Gallinaceous Birds • Ring-necked Pheasant c c c c u u u u Ac Ac a a u u r Bufflehead Common Goldeneye Hooded Merganser Common Merganser Red-breasted Merganser • Ruddy Duck Osprey, Kites, Hawks, and Eagles Osprey Bald Eagle • Northern Harrier Sharp-shinned Hawk Cooper’s Hawk Northern Goshawk • Swainson’s Hawk • Red-tailed Hawk Ferruginous Hawk Rough-legged Hawk Golden Eagle Rails • Virginia Rail • Sora Purple Gallinule Common Moorhen • American Coot r c c c r c a Cranes Sandhill Crane Whooping Crane a u Plovers Black-bellied Plover Semipalmated Plover • Killdeer Mountain Plover r o a r a r a Stilts and Avocets • Black-necked Stilt • American Avocet u a u a o c o a u r r o Common Bird Name Sp S F Sandpipers and Phalaropes Greater Yellowlegs Lesser Yellowlegs Solitary Sandpiper Willet • Spotted Sandpiper Whimbrel Long-billed Curlew Marbled Godwit Sanderling Western Sandpiper Least Sandpiper Baird’s Sandpiper Pectoral Sandpiper Stilt Sandpiper Long-billed Dowitcher • Common Snipe • Wilson’s Phalarope u u r o c Ac o u o u u u o o u c a u u r u u r o u Skuas, Jaegers, Gulls, and Terns Franklin’s Gull Bonaparte’s Gull Ring-billed Gull Caspian Tern Common Tern Forster’s Tern Least Tern • Black Tern u r u Ac Ac o Ac u o r r u o c u c c u c c u c c c o r u c Pigeons and Dov

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