Kofa National Wildlife Refuge is located in southwestern Arizona between the city of Yuma and the town of Quartzsite in La Paz and Yuma counties. The Corps of Engineers is investigating and monitoring this area through the Formerly Used Defense Sites, or FUDS Program, for munitions and explosive hazards that may remain from previous military activity. This page provides information on Hidden Valley Practice Landmine Area, which is part of the Kofa National Wildlife Refuge FUDS.
The Hidden Valley Practice Landmine Area project comprises 426 acres. The project area was used as a maneuver area in which munitions such as antitank mines, small arms ammunition, bombs, and target practice and high explosive munitions were used. Occasional light bivouac training also took place on this project area. In 1984, an M1 anti-tank practice mine was found by Kofa National Wildlife Refuge personnel. A single piece of fragmentation from a 37mm munition was also discovered in this area in 2008 by Corps of Engineers personnel.
Today, the property is managed by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service as the Kofa National Wildlife Refuge. According to the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service website, more than 80 percent of the Kofa National Wildlife Refuge is designated as wilderness. It offers visitors the opportunity to enjoy wildlife watching, photography, hiking, camping and limited hunting.
Based on available information, the Corps of Engineers has determined that additional investigations may be required for the Hidden Valley Practice Landmine Area project. Because the area is designated as a wildlife refuge, it may be some time before the Corps of Engineers and the U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service determine the best course of action. Until then, the Corps of Engineers recommends that visitors follow the 3Rs of Explosives Safety (Recognize, Retreat, Report) if they may have encountered a munition.
As part of a Notification and Safety Education initiative for the FUDS Program, the Army Corps of Engineers mailed postcards to landowners within the project area. The goal of the initiative is to raise awareness of the potential risks and hazards associated with FUDS properties and to reduce impacts to human health, safety and the environment until further response activities are initiated at the sites. For more information, call the Formerly Used Defense Sites Information Center toll-free number 1-855-765-3837 or review the safety guides and maps located in the menu on the left.