January 19, 2019
The dogs and I went out to Valle de Oro today and found that access to the Bosque has been temporarily closed for constructing a series of wetlands. You can still visit the Wildlife Refuge but cannot access the hike described in the book. Access to the Bosque will be reopened when the construction is complete. As mentioned in the book, Valle de Oro is a work in progress and parking for the Bosque, when it is reopened, will probably be in a different location. The Wildlife Refuge also has plans for a new visitor center, so a visit to the Refuge will only get better.
November 25, 2019
The State Land Commissioner has banned hunting from a tract of State Trust Land in the Bosque adjacent to Valle de Oro NWR. This is good news for those hiking in the Bosque. The route described in the 60 Hike book comes very close to the State Trust land (and may even cross it at some places). There are also houses nearby to further make the tract of State Trust land unsuitable for hunting.
Hunters did not start using the tract of State Land in question for hunting until the Wildlife Refuge and other agencies built a parking lot and a bridge over the ditches to provide access to the Bosque from the Refuge. The best solution is for the city or the county or other agency to lease the land on a long-term basis from the State to add to Rio Grande Valley State Park. In that way there will be no question about hiking and bird watching access to the Bosque from the Refuge and no question about the ban on hunting in the area.
Another update is that the Refuge is starting build a visitor center and re-configuring part of the refuge into wetlands. This may mean relocating the parking area where the book’s hike begins.