Session Details

Surviving the Test of Time: The Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge


The Rocky Mountain Arsenal (RMA) was built in 1942 to manufacture chemical weapons. A portion of the site was leased to private industry in 1946 for petroleum production and agricultural and industrial chemical manufacturing. When the American chemical weapons program was shut down after the Vietnam War, the RMA served as a site for dismantling and disposing of these weapons.

The RMA was closed in 1985, and in 1987, environmental testing revealed that the site was extremely polluted. The RMA was listed on the National Priorities List, a list of hazardous waste sites in the United States eligible for long-term remedial action (cleanup) financed under the federal Superfund program run by the Environmental Protection Agency. In 1986, during environmental testing, a winter communal roost of American Bald Eagles, then an endangered species, was discovered. Additional investigation showed that the RMA was home to more than 330 species of wildlife.

On this mobile workshop, visit what is now the Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge and discover how this once toxic landscape has been transformed into a 15,000-acre refuge home to raptors, deer, bald eagles, bison, coyotes, white pelicans, black-footed ferrets, and more.