U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service logo A Unit of the National Wildlife Refuge System
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Rocky Mountain Arsenal
National Wildlife Refuge


Bison again at home on the Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge.
6550 Gateway Road
Commerce City, CO   80022
E-mail: rockymountainarsenal@fws.gov
Phone Number: 303-289-0930
Visit the Refuge's Web Site:
http://www.fws.gov/refuge/rocky_mountain_arsenal/
The reintroduction of American bison at the Refuge marks the return of an animal that was once a key component of prairie ecosystems.
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  Overview
Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge
Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge (NWR), located 10 minutes from downtown Denver, is nearly 17,000 acres, making it one of the largest urban wildlife refuges in the United States. It consists of open lakes, wetlands, prairie grasslands, and woodlands.

Due to its proximity to Denver, one of the Refuge's primary goals is to provide environmental education programs for urban school children. Each year, thousands of visitors come to the Refuge to appreciate its wildlife, view the scenic habitat, and learn about native prairie species. The Arsenal has been called "a significant habitat island for wildlife" and "a place to renew the relationship with nature." Popular activities include interpretative programs, environmental education, fishing, wildlife observation, and photography.


Getting There . . .
Rocky Mountain Arsenal NWR is 10 minutes from downtown Denver and 30 minutes from the Rocky Mountain foothills. It is located in Commerce City, Colorado, a Denver suburb located in Adams County. To get to Rocky Mountain Arsenal NWR from downtown Denver, take I-25 north to I-70 east. Exit at Quebec Street and head north. Turn right at Prairie Parkway/64th Avenue. Turn left at Gateway Road. Gateway Road will take you on to the Refuge.


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These driving directions are provided as a general guide only. No representation is made or warranty given as to their content, road conditions or route usability or expeditiousness. User assumes all risk of use.

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Wildlife and Habitat

The Refuge supports more than 330 species of mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, and fish.

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History
Prior to 1880, the Colorado landscape east of the Rocky Mountains was gentle, rolling swells of shortgrass prairie.

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    Recreation and Education Opportunities
Environmental Education
Fishing
Interpretation
Photography
Wildlife Observation
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Management Activities
One of the primary objectives of the Refuge is to restore and mange the land to provide quality wildlife habitat. Previous land uses, including farming and military and industrial operations, resulted in the loss of native species, which made the establishment of exotic plants possible. Approximately 8,000 acres of disturbed land is currently being restored with native prairie grasses, wildflowers, and shrubs.

Weeds are the major obstacle to establishing native grasses. An integrated pest management program incorporates a variety of mechanical, biological, and chemical controls. Prescribed burning and mowing are additional techniques used to manage the habitats.