Jan 13, 2013

Land Added to Rocky Flats and Silvio O. Conte Refuges

The Loveland Reporter-Herald recently reported that a land exchange has added 1,200 acres to Rocky Flats National Wildlife Refuge in Colorado, which increases the refuge’s size by nearly one-third and will connect it with the region’s open space and trail system.

The land exchange will give the protections of the National Wildlife Refuge System to a large, contiguous and intact tract of Xeric tallgrass prairie on Rocky Flats, believed to be, along with land owned by the city of Boulder Open Space nearby to the west, to be the largest remaining tracts of Xeric tallgrass prairie in North America.

The move also gives the refuge additional riparian habit for the Preble’s meadow jumping mouse, a species listed by the federal government as threatened under the Endangered Species Act in 1998.

In addition, Courant.com recently announced that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service purchased 38 acres of the 583-acre Connecticut Yankee property in Middle Haddam that will be added to the Silvio O. Conte National Fish and Wildlife Refuge in the Connecticut River watershed.

Preservation groups have been hoping to preserve as much as possible of the remaining fields and woodlands surrounding the now-dismantled Connecticut Yankee nuclear power plant, which fronts the Connecticut River. They cheered news of the acquisition Tuesday…

Wayne Norton, CEO of Connecticut Yankee, said the company “welcomed the opportunity to add this unique portion of our property to the Conte National Wildlife Refuge in Connecticut.”

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