By IXCHELLE JURADO
This Fall, the San Luis National Wildlife Refuge opened the doors to a new visitor’s center just North of Los Banos on 165. Although the scenic route through the wetlands is currently closed through February due to road construction, traffic out to the San Luis Complex less than a few miles down Wolfsen Road is allowed.
The grand opening was held on October 14, 2011, as part of the largest American Recovery and Reinvestment Act projects of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Guests and groups participating in the grand opening included local and national speakers, Veterans of Foreign Wars, The Los Banos High School Choir and Native Tribal Elders who brought their own show of blessings and honor to the refuge project.
The San Luis National Wildlife Refuge consists of three units in the Northern San Joaquin Valley—San Luis refuge, the largest unit just north of Los Banos, the Merced refuge, east of the San Luis NWR and the San Joaquin River refuge, west of Modesto. Together, the three units comprise nearly 45,000 acres of wetlands, grasslands, and habitats in and along the rivers and pools of these areas. In addition, there are 90,000 acres of conservation easements for the protection and benefit of wildlife.
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