What We Do

Urban Wildlife Conservation Program

Rocky Flats National Wildlife Refuge welcomes visitors from all walks of life, from near and far, to foster an appreciation for nature. As a flagship urban refuge, we strive to meaningfully engage with our communities and visitors, provide outdoor recreation opportunities to develop and enhance outdoor skills, to cultivate a connection with land and wildlife conservation, to improve accessibility and connect refuge lands to local communities, and to be a community asset.

Habitat Management and Restoration

Refuge staff use a variety of management and restoration techniques to enhance, restore, and monitor wildlife and habitat. Prescribed burns, biological controls, mowing, and planting native seed ensure a healthy and sustainable ecosystem.

Invasive weeds present a tremendous challenge to the health and diversity of native plants and wildlife habitat on the Refuge. They can outcompete native plants and grasses resulting in poor habitat for wildlife. They also can spread to adjacent lands and cause significant problems for our neighbors. The predominant invasive weeds are diffuse knapweed, Dalmatian toadflax, and Canada thistle. Herbicides, biological controls, mechanical removal, prescribed burns, and controlled grazing are management tools used to control the spread of and reduce these weed species. Refuge staff work with adjacent land owners and local agencies to coordinate weed management activities.

Wildlife Surveys

The Refuge has supported two species listed as threatened or endangered under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). Those two species being the bald eagle and the Preble’s meadow jumping mouse. The Preble’s meadow jumping mouse remains listed as threatened, Tier 1, Species of Greatest Conservation Need. The Preble's meadow jumping mouse is a small, nocturnal rodent with an extremely long tail, large hind feet, and long hind legs, all characteristics adapted for jumping. 

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service designated critical habitat for the Preble’s meadow jumping mouse, some of which is located on Rocky Flats National Wildlife Refuge. Critical habitat on the Refuge equals designated stream drainages plus 120 meters outward on each side. To protect, maintain, and improve their habitat, one of the strategies is to survey Preble’s locations and habitat every 2-3 years for the presence or absence of the mice.

Management and Conservation

Refuges deploy a host of scientifically sound management tools to address biological challenges. These tools span active water management to wilderness character monitoring, all aimed at ensuring a balanced conservation approach to benefit both wildlife and people. At this field station, our conservation toolbox includes:

  • Conservation Easements
  • Compatibility Determinations
  • Cultural Resources
  • Fire Management
  • Habitat Restoration
  • Human Dimensions
  • Invasive Species
  • Inventory and Monitoring
  • Law Enforcement
  • Recreation Management
  • Species Research
  • Water Management
  • Wildlife Health

Our Services

Please contact Refuge Headquarters at Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge for details at 303-289-0232 or email rockyflats@fws.gov for the following public services:

  • Special Use Permit Guided Trips
  • Special Use Permit - Commercial Photography

Law Enforcement

The Colorado Front Range National Wildlife Refuge Complex consists of Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge, Two Ponds National Wildlife Refuge, and Rocky Flats National Wildlife Refuge. The Complex is managed by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service as part of the National Wildlife Refuge System. 

Refuge law enforcement is an integral part of protecting the people, property, and natural resources within the National Wildlife Refuge System. Federal wildlife officers combine the roles of conservation protection, traditional policing, emergency first response, and wildfire response to protect, serve, and educate the visiting public on the conservation efforts and the rules and regulations to protect wildlife and habitats. These roles are accomplished through partnership and trust of the public and cooperative efforts of other federal, state, and local agencies.

Laws and Regulations

Visitor safety and wildlife conservation are top priorities at the Colorado Front Range National Wildlife Refuge Complex. At times, sections of the refuges may be closed on short notice due to wildlife needs, weather, or special projects. The refuges are subject to federal, state, and local laws and regulations. To help make your visit safe and enjoyable, please visit the Laws and Regulations link below for details about how to enjoy and recreate responsibly at the Refuge. You can also call Refuge Headquarters at the Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge at 303-289-0232 or monitor the website for current hours of operation and alerts before visiting.