|The Mountain-Prairie Region|
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
134 Union Boulevard
Lakewood, Colorado 80228
February 9, 2005
Contacts: Sherry James, U.S. FWS, (303) 289-0659
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and Senator Ken Salazar Announce Launch of Spanish Language Website for Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge
Spanish language speakers interested in learning more about one of the nation’s premier urban wildlife refuges can now log on to the internet and access a wealth of information about the Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge.
The website, http://rockymountainarsenal.fws.gov/spanishindex.html, was conceived and designed by staff at the Refuge who recognized the need for an accessible Spanish language information resource about the Arsenal.
“The Arsenal’s publics are increasingly diverse, and it is the Service’s responsibility to reach out to those publics and invite them to experience and enjoy their local national wildlife refuge,” said Dean Rundle, Refuge Manager. “We are pleased to offer this new opportunity for Spanish speakers on the Front Range and beyond to learn more about Arsenal and the National Wildlife Refuge System.”
"The Rocky Mountain Arsenal is the crown jewel of open space in the north Denver metropolitan area and a place of enjoyment for all the people of Colorado," said Senator Ken Salazar. "I applaud the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for creating more avenues for it to be enjoyed by, and serve as an educational tool to, all Coloradoans."
Since its launch in January, the website has already generated positive results. The Refuge has noted a marked increase in the number of visitors participating in Spanish language wildlife interpretive tours, as well as the number of “hits” the Refuge received from Internet users querying Spanish language search engines.
The U.S. Army produced chemical munitions at the Arsenal during World War II and the Cold War. Private corporations later manufactured pesticides at the facility, which was eventually designated a Superfund site. Following an extensive remediation effort, a portion of the Arsenal was transferred to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and officially designated a national wildlife refuge in April, 2004. Located eight miles from downtown Denver, the 15,000-acre site, 5,000 of which are currently managed by the Service as a refuge, features one of the most successful shortgrass prairie restoration initiatives in the nation and is home to a variety of native wildlife including: bald eagles, burrowing owls, and waterfowl. The Arsenal is the largest contiguous open space in metropolitan Denver.
The Arsenal features an active public use program, including wildlife interpretive tours, hiking trails, nature programs, a learning laboratory, and a seasonal catch and release fishing program. The refuge also works closely with area teachers to deliver environmental education programs focusing on the shortgrass prairie.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is the principal Federal agency responsible for conserving, protecting and enhancing fish, wildlife and plants and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. The Service manages the 95-million-acre National Wildlife Refuge System, which encompasses 545 national wildlife refuges, thousands of small wetlands and other special management areas. It also operates 69 national fish hatcheries, 64 fishery resources offices and 81 ecological services field stations. The agency enforces federal wildlife laws, administers the Endangered Species Act, manages migratory bird populations, restores nationally significant fisheries, conserves and restores wildlife habitat such as wetlands, and helps foreign and Native American tribal governments with their conservation efforts. It also oversees the Federal Assistance program, which distributes hundreds of millions of dollars in excise taxes on fishing and hunting equipment to state fish and wildlife agencies.
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