|Land Use and
This page contains project-related information such as the organizations involved in the project. The currently defined project area is located on approximately 59,000 acres (92 square miles). The project site is located in Arapahoe County, Colorado, approximately 20 miles southeast of Denver, adjacent to the City of Aurora. For additional project site information, see the History and Munitions Response areas of this site.
The Former Lowry Bombing and Gunnery Range (FLBGR), formerly known as Buckley Field, is located in Arapahoe County, Colorado, about 20 miles southeast of Denver. The range encompasses approximately 92 square miles. The FLBGR was originally established on land acquired from the City and County of Denver in 1937. It opened in 1942 as an Army Airfield, and was part of the Army Air Corp’s Western Technical Training Command during World War II, when it was used to conduct armament and bombing training. The training consisted of bombing practice using both practice and high explosive (HE) bombs at numerous bombing and gunnery targets across the site.
From 1942 through 1963, numerous tenants, including the Air Force, Army, Navy, and Air National Guard, used the range for various training exercises. The range was also used to support training exercises during the Korean and Vietnam wars. Between 1960 and 1980, the extent of the range was either sold or transferred to other non-Federal parties.
In June of 1991, the FLBGR was established as a Formerly Used Defense Site (FUDS). The FLBGR is administered under the FUDS program, which was formed as a part of the 1986 amendment to CERCLA (see Glossary for an explanation of CERCLA) and assigned to the Department of Defense (DoD). The FUDS program is designed to address risks to human health and the environment due to past military activities in an area. (back to top)
Private land developers have hired contractors to clear large portions of land within the FLBGR due south and southwest of the Aurora Reservoir as shown below.
Proposed land use within the FLBGR, click image to view larger map.
Several land development companies are also developing land (or have recently developed land) near by and adjacent to the FLBGR boundary. Many residential single family and multi-family homes are currently under construction along the western boundary of the FLBGR. Also being built are schools, commercial centers (shopping malls, retails stores and business centers), parks and recreation areas. Along with land development is also the construction of transportation infrastructure (main arteries of transportation as well as residential street access). (back to top)
The following agencies and companies are involved in this project and their roles and responsibilities are as follows:
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) is committed to the safe management of all unexploded ordnance (UXO) found at the Former Lowry Bombing and Gunnery Range (FLBGR). The information provided below is critical to assuring your safety on the range. Please read this information, and follow all of the guidelines and recommendations. An essential part of our program is ensuring public safety through education and awareness programs.
The FLBGR was used as a military training site for many years. Both practice and live munitions were used in this training. During the time period that the FLBGR was used, the following munitions were used for training purposes:
With age, some items become more sensitive to movement. Military explosives are designed to withstand long periods of storage under varied and often unfavorable conditions. Depending on climatic and soil conditions, the munition may appear to be brand new or rusty and deteriorated. In either situation, these munition items can detonate if handled.
Historically, a 10% dud ratio was anticipated for military munitions, which accounts for much of the UXO at defense sites where training was conducted. A dud is a munition that did not function as designed and is potentially very unsafe. Sites, such as the FLBGR, that were used as practice ranges for artillery are especially dangerous.
Training and practice munitions, like those used at the FLBGR, may also be hazardous. These munitions can contain a type of spotting charge that simulates explosive impact. The spotting charge can vary from a few grains of black powder to several pounds of high explosive. NEVER assume that “training” or “practice” means a munition item is safe to touch. Even the least sensitive items may explode if exposed to careless and improper handling.
3 “Rs” of Munitions Safety: Recognize, Retreat, Report
1. Recognize it: Munitions come in many shapes and sizes:
2. Retreat from it: If you found something that could be a munition, leave it alone and leave the area. It does not matter how old, rusty, new, or shiny the item may look, munitions are dangerous and could injure or kill you. Don’t take any chances – leave it alone.
3. Report it: If you found something that could be a munition, report what you saw and where you saw it to the USACE (402-995-2417) or Arapahoe County Sheriff’s Department (303-795-4711). Reporting it can save another person from injury or death. Report anything you think could be a munition.
A copy of the 3Rs Explosive Safety Guide prepared for the FLBGR is available for download.
Leave the handling of munitions to the trained experts who can assess the item and make the area safe. back to top)
The Administrative Record (AR) is the body of documents that form the basis for selection of a response action, which could include work plans, reports, meeting minutes, responses to comments, a Community Relations Plan, and fact sheets. The complete AR is available for viewing by appointment at the US Army Corps of Engineers, Omaha District 402-995-2417. The complete AR index file is available for download.
You will need the free Adobe Acrobat Reader plugin installed to view the AR index. If you do not have the plugin installed, click on the Adobe logo at the right of this page to download and install the reader.
Key portions of the AR file are available for viewing in the FLBGR Information Repository at the Aurora Public Library. Due to space limitations, the complete AR is not available at the Aurora Public Library. (back to top)