Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Home, home on the arsenal

From the AP

Bison, once a key part of the plains ecosystem, may make a comeback at the Rocky Mountain Arsenal, a Superfund site being transformed into a national wildlife refuge.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service said today it plans to let loose 15 bison on about 1,400 acres of the 17,000-acre site to see how they do. Fish and Wildlife will release a bison management plan and sponsor a public meeting Feb. 10 at the arsenal.

The arsenal is about 10 miles northeast of downtown Denver. The Army manufactured chemical weapons at the 27-square-mile site during World War II and the 1950s. Shell Oil produced pesticides and other chemicals there until 1982.

The animals would come from the National Bison Range in northwestern Montana, and be released in March or April.

Strong, specially made fences first would be put up to keep the animals on the arsenal and out of nearby subdivisions. The site is home to about 330 wildlife species, including deer and bald eagles.

(Photo courtesy of Colorado Division of Wildlife)

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