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February/March 2006 This section contains articles from the print edition of Steppin' Out for Feb/March, 2006

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Default Art auction to benefit John Taylor tribute at Bosque


Looking for a way to acquire some wonderful art work – without feeling guilty about spending the money?

A banquet and live auction, on Saturday, April 8 at Ranchers Steakhouse in Socorro, will raise funds to complete a habitat restoration project in the memory of John Taylor, wildlife biologist extraordinaire.
Acclaimed artists including Sharon Fullingim, Skeeter Leard, Bill Strickler, Valerie Graves and Adam Edaakie have contributed work for the auction.

The habitat project is sponsored by Ducks Unlimited. The project at the Bosque del Apache NWR will complete a water delivery system to provide water for a new semi-permanent wetland on the south end of the refuge in a formerly salt cedar infested area that Taylor at the time of his death Sep. 27, 2004 was working to restore to productive habitat.

The April 8 event, a banquet, reception by members of the Taylor family (including John’s widow Maggie Taylor and father J. Paul Taylor), PowerPoint program and auction, is intended to reach the $50,000 goal.

Some of the auction items will be on display at Socorro’s First State Bank.

Fulligim’s offering is a life-size gadwall duck sculpted in Hillsborough limestone, which she has humorously titled “That Thing Will Never Float” to distinguish it from its decoy cousins.

Leard’s entry is a large, framed acrylic of a pair of Northern Shoveler ducks.
Bill Strickler, a Magdalena wood carver, has contributed an intricately carved, painted and mounted Gambel’s quail (as seen below).

Valerie Graves of Taos, who is represented by Fullingim-Isenhour-Leard Galleries in Socorro, has entered a limited edition print of swimming Northern Pintail ducks.

Adam Edaakie, a Native American artist of the Isleta Pueblo, has created a ceramic pot decorated with an elk motif for the auction.
Other items for the auction led by auctioneer Rudy Olguin include:
• A day of birding in the field with birding champion Jerry Oldenettel, who in 2005 broke the all time record for species recorded in New Mexico in one calendar year (428 species of birds.)

• A pair of hand-turned wood bowls by former Bosque refuge manager Phil Norton;
• Large, framed photographic print of a wood Duck by Albuquerque digital photographer Jerry Goffe, who also will offer for bidding a half-day in-the-field photography workshop for four;
• Casa Blanca B& B in San Antonio is offering a pair of one-night stays in its exclusive Heron Room, coupled with a guided tour of the Bosque refuge by former refuge manager Norton;
• Fite Ranch B&B on the historic Fite Ranch east of San Antonio, Hwy. 380, will host a winning bidder for one night in the ranch house accommodation.
John Taylor, before his death at 49, had earned local, regional and national honors for his work in habitat restoration. He was named National Wildlife Refuge Employee of the year in 2003. Much of what you see when you visit the Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge, was influenced by this remarkable man.
He pioneered methods to eradicate salt cedar, the bane of biodiversity along the Rio Grande. He was instrumental in developing habitat management for the cranes and snow geese, bringing cooperative efforts between state, national and international agencies.
An avid member of Ducks Unlimited, he is remembered as a hunter who had the gift to get both birders and hunters to recognize the importance of each other.
Completion of the south-refuge wetlands area is a fitting tribute to John by a group known for its works to improve habitat. This project was the brain child of Magdalena mayor Jim Wolfe, also an avid Ducks Unlimited member. The group took on the project last fall and is close to raising the necessary funds for its completion.
Now, don’t you think that’s reason enough to add to your art work collection? Tickets for the banquet on Saturday, April 8 are Tickets at $50 each may be reserved at Friends of the Bosque del Apache 838-2120, or from Leon Harbron of Ducks Unlimited 835-0483, or at the door of the Ranchers Steakhouse banquet room at 6:30 p.m. space permitting.

All photos by John Bertrand, volunteer and Friend of the Bosque.
For more information about the Bosque, visit


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