Los Banos

Here’s why the San Luis Wildlife Refuge near Los Banos will close for three months

A portion of the San Luis National Wildlife Refuge near Los Banos will be closed for three months because of construction at the entrance, officials said Friday.

Work on Wolfsen Road between Highway 165 and the refuge entrance will make the main entrance impassable for drivers, officials said in a news release. The visitor center and elk tour will close during that time, as well as nearby fishing holes, waterfowl routes and nature trails.

The closure begins June 1 and is scheduled to end Aug. 31, the release said.

Other public areas that don’t need Wolfsen Road for access will remain open, including the Kesterson Unit from Highway 140 and the West Bear Creek Unit from Highway 165.

The Merced National Wildlife Refuge and San Joaquin River National Wildlife Refuge won’t be affected and will be open during normal hours, the release said.

Established in 1967, the 26,800-acre San Luis National Wildlife Refuge is a significant wintering ground for birds that breed in Canada and Alaska and spend their winters in Merced County, according to refuge officials.

For more, go to the refuge’s Facebook page, www.facebook.com/sanluisnwrc, call the refuge at 209-826-3508 or go to www.fws.gov/refuge/san_luis.

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