About the Refuge
Rocky Flats National Wildlife Refuge comprises much of the former Rocky Flats Environmental Technology Site. The Rocky Flats Site played an important role in Cold War history as a Department of Energy-operated facility for the production of plutonium triggers for nuclear warheads. While Congress passed the Rocky Flats National Wildlife Refuge Act in 2001, the site’s industrial legacy required that cleanup actions were undertaken prior to its transfer to the National Wildlife Refuge System. The refuge entered U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service stewardship in 2007 following the EPA’s determination that corrective actions had been completed.
Since that time, the refuge has remained closed to the public due to a lack of appropriations for refuge management operations, but it continues to protect important wildlife resources, including critical habitat for the federally threatened Preble’s meadow jumping mouse. It also contains hundreds of acres of rare xeric tallgrass prairie, it is home to populations of state game species such as mule deer and elk, and it provides an important link between existing open space in the Denver metropolitan area.