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The newest U.S. wildlife refuge will be named by the Internet

Sep 11, 2012 2:58 am

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This can only end four ways: With the coolest park name ever, the most offensive park name ever, the name “Stephen Colbert National Wildlife Refuge,” or a quiet do-over to avoid embarrassment.

— Jason Clampet

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Federal wildlife managers are stepping into uncharted territory and are asking social media users for help in naming what will be one of the nation’s newest urban wildlife refuges.

The refuge in New Mexico has yet to be formally established, but the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Southwest Region is getting a jump on things by asking people to suggest names on its Facebook page.

Voting started Friday and the list of suggestions has grown.

The favorites include Valle de Oro — Spanish for Valley of Gold — National Wildlife Refuge.

Southwest Regional Director Benjamin Tuggle says the agency wanted to invite everyone to help name what he described as a unique addition to the refuge system.

The refuge would include about 570 acres of cottonwoods and agricultural land along the Rio Grande south of Albuquerque.

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