Public Lands Transportation Fellows Projects 2018-2019

Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge Complex – Corinne Jachelski, June 2018-April 2019

The complex, located in Commerce City Colorado (a suburb of Denver, Colorado) includes the Rocky Mountain Arsenal (RMA) National Wildlife Refuge (NWR), Rocky Flats NWR, and Two Ponds NWR.  RMA NWR is a 15,000-acre refuge established in 1992 and it is the complex headquarters. RMA NWR has 330 species of animals, 10 miles of hiking trails, 9 miles of self-guided auto tours, and a shuttle system. The Rocky Flats NWR was established in 2007. It is a 5,237-acre refuge with mountain vistas, rolling prairie grasslands, woodlands, and wetlands. It is home to 239 migratory and resident wildlife species. The Rocky Flats NWR hopes to open to visitors in Summer 2018 after completing construction of a visitor center, parking area, and trails. Two Ponds NWR is the smallest urban unit in the refuge system. The unit was established in 1992 and covers 72 acres with uplands (i.e., hills), wetlands, and small ponds.

As part of the Rocky Mountain Greenway (a greenway that will connect RMA NWR and Rocky Mountain National park via Two Ponds NWR and Rocky Flats NWR) and the urban refuge program, the Rocky Mountain Complex has been implementing a number of transportation and facility upgrades utilizing Federal Lands Transportation Program (FLTP), Federal Lands Access Program (FLAP), and county funds. At RMA NWR, a new building is being constructed, the main entrance is being renovated, and there are three separate trail projects (seven FLAP-funded trailheads; FLTP-funded, internal east-west 4-mile trail with pedestrian bridges; and a county-funded trail with parking in the county) being undertaken. The Rocky Flats NWR is constructing a FLAP-funded trail with over and under-passes and an FLTP-funded internal trail.

  • Transportation Fellow Corinne Jachelski’s bio (pdf)

San Diego National Wildlife Refuge Complex – Dylan Corbin, June 2018-April 2019

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s (Service) San Diego National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) Complex is a network of protected lands in an urbanized coastal area. The Complex is made up of four refuges in the southern California region, three in San Diego County including the San Diego Bay NWR (which includes the Sweetwater Marsh and South San Diego Bay units), San Diego NWR, and Tijuana Slough NWR and one in Orange County, the Seal Beach NWR. The Complex headquarters is located on the Sweetwater Marsh Unit, adjacent to the Living Coast Discovery Center.

The San Diego NWR Complex is potentially accessible to over 3.5 million residents of the San Diego metropolitan area.  Currently, Tijuana Slough NWR and San Diego Bay NWR can be accessed by pedestrian pathways (e.g., sidewalks, trails), bikeways (Class 1, 2, and 3), and public transportation (i.e., trolley, bus).  The San Diego NWR is accessible via trails and public roads (Class 3 bikeways) and is working with the Department of Transportation’s Volpe Center to improve public access along State Route 94. The Seal Beach NWR is within the Seal Beach Naval Weapons Station and is closed to the public except for scheduled tours approved in advance by the Navy.

The San Diego NWR Complex hosted a Public Lands Transportation Fellow (PLTF or Fellow) in 2014-2015. The Fellow performed several planning tasks for the San Diego NWR Complex including the creation of a transportation plan.  

  • Transportation Fellow Dylan Corbin’s bio (pdf)

Detroit River International Wildlife Refuge – Vince Ziols, June 2018-April 2019

The DRIWR is an urban refuge located 20 miles south of Detroit. The refuge runs along the lower Detroit River and the western shoreline of Lake Erie. The refuge was established in 2001 with Canada, making it the first international refuge in North America. The refuge is 6,000 acres including islands, coastal wetlands, marshes, shoals, and waterfront lands.

The DRIWR is scheduled to open their visitor center, fishing pier, and trail connections in spring 2018. In preparation for opening the DRIWR to the public, several transportation studies have recently been completed including an urban transportation study and a Regional Alternative Transportation Evaluation (RATE) study. These studies provided potential preliminary transportation needs and solutions for the refuge.

  • Transportation Fellow Vince Ziol’s bio (pdf)