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 Maneuver Area/Small Arms, which is part of the Kofa National Wildlife Refuge FUDS.
The Maneuver Area/Small Arms project consists of 389,671 acres and was spread out through multiple areas of the Kofa National Wildlife Refuge. The area was used for general maneuvering in which munitions suspected to have been used include small arms ammunition, high-explosive and target practice artillery, and general purpose bombs. Previous inspections have uncovered fragmentation from 37mm munitions, fuzes and small arms ammunition. Tank tracks have also been observed at the project area.
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 Maneuver Area/Small Arms 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.