Can a wildlife refuge help a community’s fight for environmental justice?

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Albuquerque’s South Valley was once a thriving oasis of food production watered by a network of historic irrigation canals, or acequias. Today it’s home to several historic neighborhoods along the Rio Grande including Mountain View.

After much of the area was rezoned in the 1960s, the residents, who are mainly Chicanos as well as recent immigrants, came under siege by the structural forces of environmental racism that dictate who lives near polluters and who doesn’t. Mountain View was soon enveloped by industry — auto recyclers, Albuquerque’s sewage plant, paint facilities, and fertilizer suppliers — that left a legacy of contaminated groundwater, two Superfund sites and high levels of air pollution.
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Photo Credit: Gabriela Campos/High Country News

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