Is Rocky Flats National Wildlife Refuge Safe? The Science Says Yes - blog post image

Brief report on the July survey about Rocky Flats National Wildlife Refuge

(Kim Griffiths, in her capacity as a member of the Rocky Flats Stewardship Council, has also filed a brief report with them.)

I apologize for the delay in getting survey results out; I was “holding my breath” while the Town of Superior filed its own lawsuit [Civil Action No. 1:18-cv-1746] on July 10th and until the principal court case ruling came in on August 9th. The Wildlife Refuge opened to the public on September 15th.

Information about the survey was distributed via Nextdoor to Candelas and 26 adjacent neighborhoods. We received 235 completed surveys, of which 231 included zip codes. A detailed report (including survey questions, pie charts of responses, maps of neighborhoods contacted, sampling error, etc.) is available at our web site See the blog entry named Local homeowner perceptions of safety and use of the Wildlife Refuge. I will also soon post my responses to many of your responses to the open-ended question “If you are not sure, what additional information would help you decide about Wildlife Refuge safety?”

A few remarks, based on grouping “strongly agree” and “agree somewhat” responses together as registering assent with a statement and “strongly disagree and disagree somewhat” as registering a dissenting opinion:

  1. Responses are strongly dominated (>80%) by residents of zip code 80007, including many new developments immediately around the Refuge.
  2. 71-72% of respondents regard the Refuge as an attractive amenity and would be willing to sign a petition in support of the Refuge’s opening (or, presumably, remaining open).
  3. About 60% trust DOE/Legacy Management reports; 72% trust Colorado Department of Health and the Environment reporting.
  4. About 69% of respondents feel they and their families are likely to use the Refuge for recreation.
  5. A core of about 25% of respondents are opposed to use of the Refuge and do not trust official reports.
    (DMW’s analysis of these show that these responses are somewhat concentrated in older development zip codes such as 80403.)

Based on these survey results, it is clear that the Rocky Mountain Peace and Justice Cen­ter and its followers do not speak for those living around the Wildlife Refuge. While it is too early to conclude that these local residents will vote as a block, such a block could plausibly amount to thou­sands of voters. The political implications of a pro-Refuge majority should not be overlooked by local municipalities, Jefferson County and Jeffco school districts.

Thank you for your participation in the survey! David Wood and Kim Griffiths