- Associated Press - Thursday, August 7, 2014

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) - Interior Secretary Sally Jewell will be visiting New Mexico and Arizona this week as her department celebrates a federal program that has helped establish urban parks and other outdoor recreation opportunities around the country.

Jewell is scheduled to tour the Valle de Oro National Wildlife Refuge in Albuquerque on Friday.

Approved in 2012, the refuge is the Southwest’s first urban national wildlife refuge. The federal Land and Water Conservation Fund contributed more than $5.8 million to the establishment of the refuge.

On Saturday, Jewell will visit the South Mountain Park Visitor Center in Phoenix.

Jewell also met this week with officials in North Carolina and Indiana to discuss support for permanently funding the land and water conservation account. Without action from Congress, the fund is set to expire next year.


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