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美國前核武製造廠變身野生動物保護區

2007年07月19日
摘譯自2007年7月16日ENS科羅拉多,丹佛報導;林盈秀編譯;蔡麗伶審校

The last of the former plutonium facilities to be demolished was Building 371, which was brought down in 2005. (Photo courtesy Rocky Flats Citizens' Advisory Board) 離丹佛西北方16英哩的地方,原本是美國幾乎所有核武制動機生產之地,現在搖身一變成為美國最新的野生動物保護區。不顧一些民間團體的警告,儘管有些殘餘污染物存在,此地大部分區域仍將開放讓民眾進入。

1951年到1989年,洛磯平地工廠在製造制動機的生產過程,將含放射線及有害的污染物質,包括鈽、鈾、鈹、及其他有害化學成分,排放到工廠週遭的空氣、土壤及水中。

超過10年的環境清除工作之後,2005年美國能源部(DOE)保證,洛磯平地區遭污染的環境已全面清除完成。

洛磯平地區被大約有6200公頃的高大草原,此區不對外界開放已超過50年。

美國漁獵暨野生動物管理局局長霍爾(Dale Hall)表示:「國會期望,此保護區將提供後代子孫一個永續的野生動物與棲地遺產。」

棲地保育將包含管理乾生高莖草原,和當地植物族群,像是野草控制、移除與植被重建未使用的道路與河道、管理鹿和麋鹿族群、黑尾土撥鼠的聚落、以及保護Preble’s草原跳鼠的棲地,這是名列在美國聯邦瀕危物種法案的受威脅物種。

遊客設施最終包括16英哩長的步道、一個季節性提供遊客接觸動物的據點、步道起始點的停車場和眺望台。大部分的步道將使用現存道路,而公共道路將以步行、腳踏車、馬匹或是車輛行駛。

Rocky Flats Nuclear Weapons Site Becomes a Wildlife Refuge
DENVER, Colorado, July 16, 2007 (ENS)

Deer now outnumber humans at Rocky Flats. (Photo courtesy RFCAB)Sixteen miles northwest of Denver, the site where once the trigger mechanisms for nearly every nuclear weapon in the United States were made, has become the country's newest wildlife refuge. Over the warnings of some citizens groups, public access will be allowed to large portions of the site despite some residual contamination.

From 1951 until 1989 the Rocky Flats Plant manufactured the triggers and in the process released radiological and hazardous material contamination, including plutonium, uranium, beryllium and hazardous chemical compounds, into the air, ground and water surrounding the plant.

After more than a decade of environmental cleanup work, in 2005, The U.S. Department of Energy, DOE certified the environmental cleanup work at the former Rocky Flats site complete.

The Rocky Flats site encompasses approximately 6,200 acres of high prairie that has been closed to the public for more than 50 years.

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Director Dale Hall said, “as intended by Congress, the refuge will preserve a lasting wildlife and habitat legacy for future generations."

Habitat conservation will include management of xeric tallgrass and native plant communities, as well as weed control, removal and revegetation of unused roads and stream crossings, management of deer and elk populations and black-tailed prairie dog colonies, and protection of habitat for the Preble's meadow jumping mouse, a species listed as threatened under the federal Endangered Species Act.

Visitor use facilities will eventually include 16 miles of trails, a seasonally-staffed visitor contact station, trailheads with parking, and developed overlooks. Most of the trails will use existing roads, and public access will be by foot, bicycle, horse or car.

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