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Wildlife West

At Wildlife West Nature Park the habitat designs are based on state-of-the-art concepts that are used to provide the best possible viewing opportunities while incorporating the specific needs of their animal residents.

Summer fun at the Wildlife West Nature Park

Wildlife West Nature Park in Edgewood kicks off the summer with three incredible events happening from June 11 through 13. The Park is New Mexico's premier facility and attraction dedicated to native wildlife and ecology.

This year's Hammers and Hooves Horse Fair will be held June 12 and 13. There will also be horse training workshops all day, each day, plus demonstrations by the leading professionals in the New Mexico horse industry, vendors, and the regular Wildlife West zoo tours. Other events include an old-fashioned pie contest and a photography contest. The fair will be open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day. Visitors can enjoy horse clinics and demos, commercial vendors and a silent auction. Test your horse knowledge in their Hippology booth. Enter the photo contest on Saturday, June 12, and the pie baking contest on Sunday, June 13.

World Championship Blacksmiths present their national blacksmith and horseshoeing championship this year from June 11 through 13, at the Park. Each day, there will be 40 blacksmiths from all over the United States competing for championship status in horse shoeing. There will also be horse training workshops all day, each day, plus demonstrations by the leading professionals in the New Mexico horse industry, vendors, and the regular Wildlife West zoo tours.

The Chuckwagon Suppers season opener starring Syd Masters and the Swing Riders will also be held that Saturday, June 12. But don't forget that Chuckwagon Supper reservations must be made by 2 p.m. the day of the show.

Located just minutes east of Albuquerque in Edgewood, New Mexico, the Park encompasses 122 acres of land, much of which has remained undisturbed throughout the development of the facility. Many of their residents occupy spacious enclosures designed to accommodate their natural behaviors. All of their animals are non-releasable, either due to injury or some other factor that makes life in the wild impossible for them. Wildlife West's intensive animal enrichment program encourages natural behaviors in feeding, play, and other areas to ensure that their animals are as mentally and emotionally healthy as possible. The Park includes an approximately 1/3 acre pond, complete with observation blinds, which is home to a host of native species and is visited annually by a variety of migratory birds. The zoo is privileged to have a large, well trained staff of volunteers and members of the New Mexico Youth Conservation Corps who support their efforts while experiencing the satisfaction of contributing to a worthy and worthwhile cause. The park has developed a broad-based educational program, and has become a regional center for concerts, festivals, and other events.

Wildlife West Nature Park began in 1992 as a not-for-profit all volunteer effort to create a new approach to combining habitat restoration, recreation, and environmental education for children and adults. After 30,000 hours of volunteer labor by many people they opened in August of 1994 with a wetlands project functioning and several nature trails for bird watching.  Throughout the Park's history, they have added a major new habitat nearly every year, as well as the bean barn, amphitheater, gift shop, and Town of Venus for vending during major events. The Park has played host to a variety of entertainment events as well as those celebrating wildlife and the rich culture of New Mexico.

From its humble beginnings as 122 acres of vacant land east of Albuquerque, the Park has grown into a major area attraction. In addition to approximately 30 wildlife exhibits connected by 2 miles of trails, the Park boasts a fully equipped, covered amphitheater (capable of dinner seating for 500 people or concert seating for 1,000), described by nationally renowned artists such as Syd Masters as one of the best outdoor venues in New Mexico. Indoor events, including concerts, craft fairs, trade shows, and other functions can be accommodated by their fully enclosed barn, with a large stage and spacious floor area. The complex includes large lawn areas perfect for outdoor fairs, tractor and automobile shows, and demonstrations of all kinds. Dry camping for some events can be accommodated on a case-by-case basis.

The habitat designs are based on state-of-the-art concepts that are used to provide the best possible viewing opportunities while incorporating the specific needs of their animal residents. Every species has specific requirements with respect to refuge, view (for example, some animals are uneasy if they cannot see the area surrounding their cages, while others are not), living "surfaces," and land cover. Using natural landscaping inside the habitats wherever possible requires more maintenance, but provides a superior environment for residents and visitors alike.

The park is home to approximately 40 "permanent residents," including black bear, mountain lions, wolves, coyotes, bobcat, elk, deer, javelina, fox, pronghorn antelope, raccoon, and a wide variety of birds of prey - although the total varies depending on new additions. Many of their animals take part in educational programs and a variety of shows and other entertainment activities. Of course, the 122-acre preserve also plays host to a variety of wild species and migratory birds, so every visit is unique!

Sustainable Design
Wildlife West is dedicated to sustainable design and construction practices. Unlike many conventional zoos, they have made a concerted effort to minimize their disturbance of the ecosystem to the maximum extent possible, preferring to seek harmony between their designs and the environment in which they are placed. Wildlife West has a certain advantage to this; since all the captive species are native to the Southwest, they are generally already well-adapted to the environment in which they live.

Most of their habitats contain native vegetation - grasses, flowers, shrubs, and trees - because they have generally sought to enclose natural habitat rather than attempt to re-create conditions that are similar to what the animals would experience in nature. Of course, some modifications are necessary, but they work to minimize the difference.

Wildlife West is located in a Southwest United States environment, and that means water is always an issue. When it is necessary to disturb the natural landscape, they seek to do so in a manner that is consistent with the existing configuration and helps direct water to the places where it is most needed. They also maintain a xeriscape garden for display and educational purposes.

Admission is at the regular Park rates: Adults: $7.00, Seniors: $6.00, Students & Kids: $4.00 and Kids under 5: Free. For more information contact (505) 281-7655, or visit

History of Father’s Day

Father's Day, contrary to popular misconception, was not established as a holiday in order to help greeting card manufacturers sell more cards. In fact when a "father's day" was first proposed there were no Father's Day cards!

Sonora Dodd, of Washington, first had the idea of a "father's day." She thought of the idea for Father's Day while listening to a Mother's Day sermon in 1909.

Sonora wanted a special day to honor her father, William Smart. Smart, who was a Civil War veteran, was widowed when his wife died while giving birth to their sixth child. Mr. Smart was left to raise the newborn and his other five children by himself on a rural farm in eastern Washington state.

After Sonora became an adult she realized the selflessness her father had shown in raising his children as a single parent. It was her father that made all the parental sacrifices and was, in the eyes of his daughter, a courageous, selfless, and loving man. Sonora's father was born in June, so she chose to hold the first Father's Day celebration in Spokane, Washington on the 19th of June, 1910.

President Calvin Coolidge, in 1924, supported the idea of a national Father's Day. Then in 1966 President Lyndon Johnson signed a presidential proclamation declaring the 3rd Sunday of June as Father's Day. President Richard Nixon signed the law which finally made it permanent in 1972.

Father's Day has become a day to not only honor your father, but all men who act as a father figure. Stepfathers, uncles, grandfathers, and adult male friends are all honored on Father's Day.

"It is a wise father that knows his own child."  — William Shakespeare

Father’s Day fishing report for New Mexico

This fishing report, provided by the Department of Game and Fish and, has been generated from the best information available from area officers, anglers, guides, and local businesses. Conditions may vary as stream, lake, and weather conditions alter fish and angler activities.


Animas River—Water is high, muddy, and not fishable yet. One hundred seventy-seven rainbows were recently stocked.

Chama River—The water is still high and muddy. Fishing is poor. Seven hundred twenty-eight rainbows were stocked last week. Below El Vado Dam, the flow is 406 cfs, and the water is green, high, and murky. There has been light pressure, with a few reports of 15-16 inch browns taken on night crawlers and some rainbows caught with Hare’s ear nymphs. Last week, 355 rainbows were stocked below El Vado.

San Juan River—Upper section: Catch and release flow is at 453 cfs, and visibility has improved to four feet. Midge larva and midge emergers are best for the mornings. In the afternoons, fish are taking gray, olive, and brown nymphs in the riffles at the top of holes. If fish are rising, try #24 Parachute Adams, #22 Comparadun, or a big black ant. Lower section: Open waters—fishing is good using silver or gold spinners, worms, meal worms, and the same flies as for the upper section. Three thousand seven hundred and six rainbows were stocked last week.

Abiquiu Lake—The water is green and murky, and the temperature is in the low 50’s. Walleye are fair with crank baits, jigs, and worms. A few browns have been caught with spinners and night crawlers. No reports on other species.

El Vado Lake—The water is clearing. Shore fishing has been good for 20-22 inch rainbows and browns with Rapalas, spinners, and worms.

Heron Lake—Lake trout, averaging 10-12 pounds, are reported as good, trolling flat fish or Rapalas at 15-40 feet. Jigging with tubes or spoons in 30-50 feet of water is also producing some nice lakers. Small lake trout and rainbows, up to 17 inches, are good from the bank with rainbow Power Bait.

Jackson Lake—Trout are reported as good with gold spinners or Power Bait.

Lake Farmington—Fishing has been slow with spinners or Power Bait. One thousand seven hundred seventy-five rainbow trout were stocked last week.

Morgan Lake—Catfish are good fishing at night with stink bait.

Navajo Lake—Pike are good with spinners, jerk baits, and crank baits in the San Juan and Pine arms, fishing in structure close to shore. Smallmouth bass are reported as fair with tubes. Reports are good for crappie in shallow water around the marinas and in La Jara, Francis Canyon, and Negro Andy Canyon with bass plugs, jigs, and minnows. No reports on other species.


Cimarron River—The flows are 0.55 cfs below Eagle Nest Dam and 48 cfs near Cimarron. Trout are reported as slow to fair with small bead head nymphs and worms. No dry fly action yet.

Costilla Creek—The flows are 1.0 cfs below the dam and 105 cfs near the town of Costilla. The Valle Vidal is closed until July 1, but trout are reported as fair in the lower Costilla with #14-16 bead head nymphs. Best fishing is after 3:00 p.m.

Red River—Flows at Questa are 127 cfs and 147 cfs below the hatchery. The water is high and muddy from runoff. Trout are reported as slow, and small nymphs or worms are your best bet. Four hundred ninety-seven rainbows were stocked below Questa last week.

Rio Grande—Flows are 1,060 cfs at Taos Junction Bridge and 566 cfs near Cerro. The water is lower and clearing. Trout are reported as fair with black woolly buggers or large bead head stone fly nymphs. No reports on other species. 

Rio Hondo—Trout are fair with #14-16 bead head caddis nymphs.

Rio Pueblo—Flow is 178 cfs. The water is still high and muddy, and there is no report.

Cabresto Lake—Brook trout are reported as fair using bead head nymphs.

Charette Lakes—Fishing is good for 12-18 inch rainbows with Power Bait or worms under a bobber. Perch are good using worms.

Clayton Lake—Trout are good from the shore with pink or rainbow Power Bait and trolling with spinners. There are no reports on other species.

Eagle Nest Lake—The water is fairly clear. Shoreline fishing for trout is good most days with worms and Power Bait. Perch are slow with worms. It is still too cold for fly-fishing.

Lake Alice and Lake Maloya—Fishing is reported as very good at both lakes for 12-15 inch rainbows using gold spoons, Pistol Pete’s, Power Bait, corn, or salmon eggs.

Maxwell Lakes—Trout are reported as fair with Power Bait. Catfish are slow with worms.

Shuree Ponds—Closed for the season.

Springer Lakes—16-24 inch channel catfish are fair with worms and cut bait. Pike, ranging from 16-26 inches, are good with Rat-l-traps and Mepps spinners.

West-Central, including the Jemez Mountains

Jemez River, East Fork, Guadalupe, and San Antonio—Flow on the Jemez River is at 234 cfs. Fishing continues to be good in the Jemez streams with bead head nymphs, San Juan worms, salmon eggs, or worms fished off the bottom. The Guadalupe is running fairly high and clear and is fishable. Stone fly hatches are starting, and fishing should improve over the next couple weeks. Five hundred ten rainbows were stocked in the San Antonio last week.

Bluewater Lake—Trout are reported as fair from shore with salmon eggs. No reports on other species.

Cochiti Lake—The water is very high, green, and murky with lots of debris. The Cochiti boat ramp is closed, picnic areas are under water, and Santa Cruz road is flooded. There has been no pressure and no report. Water release will start next week, so conditions should improve.

Fenton Lake—Fishing is good from shore with worms or light-colored Power Bait. Anglers in float tubes are reporting success with black or green woolly buggers and green Pistol Pete’s.

Tingley Beach—South pond catch and release: Trout fishing is good in the early mornings and evenings with bead head nymphs and Griffith gnats. Children’s and central ponds: Trout are reported as fair with yellow Power Bait. Bluegills are good with worms. Catfish are fair with chicken liver. Watch for catfish to be stocked in May.

East–Central, including the Pecos River

Coyote Creek—Flow is 14 cfs, and the water is high and murky. Trout are fair to good with Pistol Pete’s, Panther Martins, salmon eggs, and Power Bait. Some anglers have reported moderate success with dry flies.

Pecos River—Flows are 382 cfs near Pecos and 98 cfs below Sumner Dam. The water is high and murky, and wading is difficult. Trout are slow, but San Juan worms or weighted stone fly nymphs drifted along the bank may work. Last week, 128 rainbows were stocked from Cowles to the Village of Pecos. Below Sumner Dam, 2-5 pound channel catfish are being caught on chicken liver or worms.

Conchas Lake—The water is fairly clear, and the temperature is in the low 60’s. Walleye are good from shore and trolling, with many limits reported. Jigs, worms, bottom bouncers, or crank baits are working well. Crappie are slow with jigs and minnows. No reports on other species.

Santa Rosa Lake—Walleye are slow to fair using curly tail jigs, with best reports from anglers trolling by the dam. Smallmouth and largemouth bass are fair with tubes or worms at 10-15 feet on the east side of the lake. Catfish and crappie are slow.

Sumner Lake—Winter trout waters, stilling basin: 16-18 inch walleye are reported as good with bottom bouncers, deep diving lures, minnows, and night crawlers. Most are being caught in 10-12 feet of water off the gravel points in the north end of the lake and in the mouth of the Alamogordo Arm. White bass are fair with shiny lures where you find the fish breaking water. No reports on other species.


Gila River—The flow is at 219 cfs, and the water is murky from runoff. Fishing is picking up in the East Fork, and trout are reported as fair with Panther Martins, spinners, and salmon eggs.

Elephant Butte Lake—White bass are reported as good trolling crank baits and shiners. Walleye are sporadic, but a few nice ones have been taken on jigs and minnows. Crappie are good on jigs and minnows. Striped bass are still slow but starting to pick up using live bait. Catfish are good with shrimp or shad. No reports on other species.

Glenwood Ponds—Trout are reported as slow with salmon eggs or Power Bait. Two hundred twenty-four triploid rainbows were stocked last week.

Lake Roberts—Trout are reported as good in the late afternoons and evenings, fishing off the bottom with Power Bait.

Protect your personal information on vacation

—Jason Alderman
This is the time of year when many people finalize their summer vacation plans—confirming travel and lodging reservations, dusting off suitcases, and looking for games to occupy the kids on long road trips. Just be sure that when your brain goes into vacation mode, you don’t ignore the same precautions you take during everyday life to protect your personal information.

 Here are a few safeguards to keep in mind:

Guard your itinerary. In the old days, police warned against sharing too much information about funerals and marriages in the newspaper, for fear robbers would target empty homes. But these days, many people think nothing of sharing their vacation schedules on social networking sites or in outgoing phone or e-mail messages.

Sure, you might only share your plans with a few friends, but who’s to say they won’t inadvertently pass it along to someone you don’t know? Plus, no matter how carefully you shield your plans, your kids might have no such reservations with their online friends. Consider instituting a family rule that no vacation plans or photos get posted until you’re safely home.

Streamline your wallet. It’s never wise to carry too much information—or cash—in your wallet, but that’s especially true when traveling. Bring two credit or debit cards, in case one inadvertently gets damaged or deactivated by the card issuer because of suspected fraud, but leave the rest at home. Also, never carry your Social Security card or other sensitive papers—leave them safely locked up.

But do carry your health and car insurance identification. Also, photocopy or make a list of your wallet’s contents (and passport, if traveling abroad), and keep it in a secure, locked location, such as a hotel safe—and leave a copy with someone at home you can call in the event your wallet is stolen.

Card precautions. Let the financial institution that issues your credit and debit cards know when and where you’ll be traveling, so they can be on guard for unauthorized transactions. While you’re at it, make a list of their toll-free fraud hotlines in case of theft, and carry it separately. I also program these phone numbers into my cell phone for quick access.

Beware of card skimming, where dishonest restaurant or store employees use a portable card reader to copy information from your credit or debit card’s magnetic strip. Also avoid using unusual looking ATMs because they could have an altered card slot and hidden cameras that can be used to steal your account information and password.

Computer precautions. Whenever logging onto the Internet on your laptop at a Wi-Fi hotspot, hotel business center, or other public facility whose server may not be encrypted, be extra cautious before doing online banking or other password protected services.

Safeguard your home. If no one will be house-sitting while you’re away, have your mail held at the post office. Also, suspend newspaper subscriptions, and ask a friend to remove fliers, packages, or free newspapers.






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