U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Division of Refuge Planning
Mountain-Prairie Region

Completed Plan Contacts

The Service completed this plan
in 2005.


REFUGE EMAIL

rockyflats@fws.gov


REFUGE STREET ADDRESS

Rocky Flats National Wildlife Refuge
10801 Highway 93
Golden, Colorado


REFUGE MAILING ADDRESS

Rocky Flats National Wildlife Refuge
c/o Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge Complex
5640 Havana Street, Building 121
Commerce City, Colorado 80022


REFUGE TELEPHONE

303 / 289 0232


REFUGE WEB SITE

www.fws.gov/refuge/rocky_flats

 

Comprehensive Conservation Plan


Rocky Flats National Wildlife Refuge

Colorado

Description

The comprehensive conservation plan sets the management and use of Rocky Flats National Wildlife Refuge for 15 years. This northern Colorado refuge is part of the former Rocky Flats Environmental Technology Sites, a former nuclear defense facility operated by the United States Department of Energy.

The purposes of the refuge are (1) to restore and preserve native ecosystems, (2) to provide habitat for and population management of native plants and migratory and resident wildlife, (3) to conserve threatened and endangered species, and (4) to provide opportunities for compatible scientific research.

  • Established in 2007.
  • Comprises 3,963 acres that the Department of Energy transferred to the Department of the Interior. 
  • Located on the borders of Boulder, Broomfield, and Jefferson counties, 16 miles northwest of Denver, Colorado.

The refuge has several significant qualities that Congress identified in the Rocky Flats National Wildlife Refuge Act of 2001: (1) most of the refuge has remained undisturbed since its acquisition by the government; (2) the refuge preserves valuable open space and striking vistas of the Front Range mountain backdrop; and (3) the refuge provides habitat for many wildlife species, including a number of threatened and endangered species, and is marked by the presence of rare, tallgrass prairie communities.

The following are major actions in the comprehensive conservation plan:

  • Use a variety of tools including prescribed fire, grazing, and mowing to stimulate and maintain native grasslands.
  • To improve habitat conditions for wildlife species including the Preble’s meadow jumping mouse, remove 28 miles of unused road and 13 stream crossings.
  • Work with the Colorado Division of Wildlife to have a limited public hunt or cull of deer and elk populations.
Image of the plan cover showing a mule deer buck.

Cover photograph of a mule deer buck, © Michael Mauro.

  • Allow prairie dogs to expand in some areas.
  • Provide visitor use facilities including 12.8 miles multi-use trails with 3.8 miles of hiking-only trails, a visitor contact station, interpretive overlooks, viewing blinds, and parking areas.
  • Provide environmental programs for high school and college students and a limited hunting program (two weekends a year) for youth and persons with disabilities.
  • Address public concerns about the safety of the refuge through public outreach and clear signage about access restrictions and public use opportunities.
  • Provide for compatible scientific research opportunities that focus on wildlife habitat and interactions between wildlife and human use.
  • Work closely with surrounding jurisdictions to coordinate natural resource management, public use, and the regional protection of wildlife movement corridors.

Documents

Comprehensive conservation plan (CCP)
CCP 2005 (28 MB PDF)

By section, for faster download:
Approval, contents, summary (3 MB PDF)
Chapter 1, purpose and need (1 MB PDF)
Chapter 2, planning process (1 MB PDF)
Chapter 3, refuge and resource descriptions (15 MB PDF)
Chapter 4, management direction (3 MB PDF)
Chapter 5, implementation and monitoring (PDF)
Appendices (3 MB PDF)

Final environmental impact statement (FEIS)
FEIS 2004 (83 MB PDF)

By section, for faster download:
Approval, contents, summary (PDF)
Chapter 1, purpose and need (5 MB PDF)
Chapter 2, alternatives (13 MB PDF)
Chapter 3, affected environment (32 MB PDF)
Chapter 4, environmental consequences (16 MB PDF)
Chapter 5, preparers (PDF)
Chapter 6, consultation and coordination (PDF)
Appendices A–G (2 MB PDF)
Appendix H, comments and responses (17 MB PDF)

Planning process documents
Planning update 7 2005 (1 MB PDF)
News release 2005 (PDF)
Record of decision for the final CCP 2005 (1 MB PDF)
Notice of availability of final CCP and EIS 2004 (PDF)
Planning update 6 2004 (1 MB PDF)
Planning update 5 2004 (1 MB PDF)
Notice of availability of draft CCP and EIS 2004 (PDF)
Planning update 4 2003 (PDF)
Planning update 3 2003 (PDF)
Public scoping report 2003 (1 MB PDF)
Public involvement summary 2002 (1 MB PDF)
Planning update 2 2002 (PDF)
Vision and issues workshop summary report 2002 (2 MB PDF)
Planning update 1 2002 (PDF)
Notice of intent to prepare a CCP and EIS 2002 (PDF)

Other documents
Regulator letter 2011 (2 MB PDF)
In 2011, the Environmental Protection Agency and the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment issued a letter to clarify the residual risk levels to refuge workers and visitors on the former Rocky Flats Environmental Technology Site. This letter from the regulators updates information about the site cleanup.