Night time recreational use of the Corrales Bosque Preserve has been restricted due to ongoing concerns over fire danger. On recommendation from the Bosque Advisory Commission , Mayor Jo Anne Roake set an earlier closure time for visits to the preserve. From April to October, evening use must end by 9 p.m.

The revised closing time is now 7 p.m. from November through March. Signs are being posted at entrances to the preserve. The commission wanted to change to be consistent with rules for the Rio Grande Valley State Park to the south.

Commissioners noted that reports have come in about small fires being started in the bosque and about people entering the preserve around midnight and even later. The preserve had been posted with a closure time of 10 p.m. At their June 11 meeting, commissioners were reminded that no allowable uses of the bosque need to be done after dark. Concern was also expressed that visits to the preserve at night raise potential for personal injury with diminished capacity for public safety personnel to respond.

Commissioners have also learned that someone deliberately damaged the most popular footbridge into the preserve. Metal straps securing a side railing for the “Boy Scout Bridge” over the Riverside Drain (“Clear Ditch”) were removed, probably in the evening of July 15.

A reward has been offered for information about the vandalism; a tip or other information may be emailed to bosqueadvisorycommission@gmail.com. Commissioner Joan Hashimoto said she noticed the damage Thursday, July 16. “I noticed that four of the anchor straps on the south rail of the Scout bridge had been vandalized. One was completely missing.” She said a neighbor had repaired the railing the following morning. The footbridge was installed as an Eagle Scout project more than 25 years ago.

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