Peak & Prairie

Rocky Mountain Chapter's
Online Newsletter
June / July 1999


Letters to the Editor


U.S. Army ∑ Shell Oil Company

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

 January 13, 1999

 Dear Editor:

As you know, the Rocky Mountain Arsenal is a complex site, often involving very technical information and situations that, at times, are outside the comfort zones of some interested individuals. Although we attempt to explain these matters in terms that are easy to comprehend, on occasion inaccurate information is printed about the Arsenal. We make every effort to correct inaccuracies to ensure that our neighbors and stakeholders have fair and factual information.

The December/January issue of Peak and Prairie featured an article titled ďHere Come the Eagles.Ē There are three main points in this article that require further clarification.

First, the article states that itís not safe to visit the Rocky Mountain Arsenal. The majority of the Arsenalís 27 square miles has never been disturbed by past manufacturing practices and is not impacted by current cleanup operations. In addition, numerous safety measures are in place to control access to the central sections of the site where many cleanup programs are actively underway.

Secondly, the article makes reference to a container of GB Sarin found at the site earlier this summer. This is simply not true. In September, contractors working on a cleanup activity in the central portion of the Arsenal spotted a canister that was later identified as an unexploded ordnance. Further analysis determined that the canister was filled with antifreeze. Experts then disposed of the item following standard military procedures.

Lastly, feeding the Arsenalís wintering bald eagles is a rare occurrence and not a routine procedure. A few years ago, plague virtually wiped out the Arsenalís prairie dog population - a primary food source for eagles. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service had to locate an alternate food source to ensure their health and safety. This was not a public relations tactic, but rather a tactic to protect the bald eagle in accordance with the Endangered Species Act and standard wildlife management principles.

We cordially invite all Sierra Club members to join us and see this unique site first hand. The Arsenal wishes to thank members of the Sierra Club and our surrounding communities for their continued dedication to the Arsenalís progress. More information can either be obtained on our web site at or by calling the Arsenal Information Line at 303-286-8036.



Ruth Mecham
Chief, Public Affairs
Rocky Mountain Arsenal
Remediation Venture Public Relations Office


The SC RMA Committee still feels that it is inappropriate to have children visiting a superfund site.Apologies on the sarin misrepresentation - the GB information was never verbally corrected to antifreeze at RAB or SSAB meetings.It still seems irregular for a wildlife refuge to be feeding wild birds to keep them on the property. 
Sandy Horrocks


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