Thursday, September 23, 2010

Sevilleta Wildlife Refuge Looking At Expansion

Mountain Mail Reports

The Sevilleta Wildlife Refuge in northern Socorro County wants to expand.
Refuge manager Kathy Granillo addressed the Socorro County Commission last week to discuss a proposed land acquisition that would add 1,250 acres to the government entity.
Granillo said the possible acquisition would take part in a number of phases.
The first phase would involve the acquisition of approximately 250 acres where the refuge would plan to continue farming on land that is used by cranes and snow geese in the winter.
"It would be another place for birds to go," Granillo said.
Already, birds make winter stops at Bosque del Apache and Bernardo.
The land is owned by Corky Herkenhoff and Granillo says the appraisal has been finished and now the review appraiser is looking it over. After that step, the appraisal would be presented to Herkenhoff.
And if Herkenhoff is happy, Granillo said the two parties will proceed.
"We have a half-million (dollars) towards the purchase and we will have to raise more," Granillo said.
Vice chair Danny Monette, though, had a concern.
“It concerns me that the federal government owns too much property,” Monette said. “That’s my personal opinion.”
Granillo said two public meetings have been held and they will be asking for public comments after an assessment of the environment is finished.
Another issue facing the possible land acquisition would be the tax issue.
County manager Delilah Walsh said, “Revenues do decline every year where property taxes increase.
Granillo said there would be payments made through a program called the Refuge Revenue Sharing.
“It’s different from PILT (Payment in lieu of taxes),’ Granillo said. “The payment is made on an assessed value of the land and there is a reassessment made every five years.”
As the process goes along and the refuge moves on to other phases of acquiring the land, Granillo said the refuge would get funding through a number of sources including the Migratory Bird Conservation Act and the Land and Water Conservation Fund.
Chair Rosie Tripp summed it up when she said, “There is nothing to vote on,” she said. “This is just for information purposes only and we are giving her our input.”

No comments:

Post a Comment