Bison, hawks find refuge in former mustard gas site
Written byAssociated Press/GW
A new 9-mile wildlife drive through the Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge opens Saturday in an area that was once a top Superfund site.
The conversion of the 15,000-acre site, where the Army made mustard gas during World War II, was completed in 2010. The changes were gradual with U.S. EPA declaring pieces safe and then turning them over to the Fish and Wildlife Service, which has worked to restore native grasses and flowers. Contaminated soil was moved to two on-site landfills maintained and monitored by the Army.
The refuge is now home to more than 330 species of animals, including bison, hawks and coyotes.
Tom Dougherty, former regional director of the National Wildlife Federation who helped establish the refuge, said it is a victory that few remember the environmental debates and legislative battles that surrounded the refuge's creation.
Visitors can "just value what's there," he said.