Former nuke site becomes wildlife refuge

July 14, 2007

The U.S. government's Rocky Flats nuclear weapons production site in Colorado has been named a National Wildlife Refuge.

The land is being turned over to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service after more than a decade of environmental cleanup work.

The Rocky Flats Plant, 16 miles northwest of Denver, manufactured the trigger mechanism for nearly every nuclear weapon in the United States from 1951-89. The government said the site water, air and soil was contaminated with plutonium, uranium, beryllium and hazardous chemical compounds.

A 10-year environmental cleanup of the site cost approximately $7 billion.

"With the transfer of nearly 4,000 acres from the Department of Energy, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will establish the Rocky Flats National Wildlife Refuge in order to conserve the rare and unique tallgrass prairie found along Colorado's Front Range," U.S. Department of Interior's Director of the Fish and Wildlife Service H. Dale Hall said in a release.

The Energy Department will retain approximately 1,300 acres in the center of the site for long-term surveillance and maintenance.

Copyright 2007 by United Press International

Explore further: Urban Canid Project tracks coyotes and prevent conflicts

Related Stories

Endangered shorebird nests in NY; first time in over 30 years

January 8, 2016

A pair of piping plovers successfully nested on New York's Lake Ontario shoreline for the first time in more than 30 years, which bodes well for the recovery of the endangered bird's Great Lakes population, according to biologists ...

Rare chance at never-before-studied Kimberley reef

January 4, 2016

The weather gods conspired to provide a rare chance to survey a remote and rarely visited section of north Kimberley reef recently, with footage that will inform the future study of reefs through climate change.

Scientific spotlight identifies threat to unique shrubs

December 28, 2015

The first comprehensive study of two shrub species from the Euphorbiaceae family, which only occur near Ravensthorpe, suggests the plant's limited range may one day lead to its extinction if land clearing in the region continues.

Recommended for you

Long-term picture offers little solace on climate change

February 8, 2016

Climate change projections that look ahead one or two centuries show a rapid rise in temperature and sea level, but say little about the longer picture. Today (Feb. 8, 2016), a study published in Nature Climate Change looks ...

Ocean acidification makes coralline algae less robust

February 8, 2016

Ocean acidification (the ongoing decrease in the pH of the Earth's oceans, caused by the uptake of CO2 from the atmosphere), is affecting the formation of the skeleton of coralline algae which play an important part in marine ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.