Tuesday, December 19, 2017
Chemical weapons Umatilla. Owl sanctuary??
Here with the type of FEEL GOOD story you wish there were many more of. A narrative also with a military dimension!
Owls of Umatilla. Burrowing Owls prospering and doing well. Habitat and sanctuary thanks to the remoteness and security of an army chemical weapons depot! Who ever thought a storage area and destruction site for weapons of mass destruction could ever become animal sanctuary.
"Army mobilizes to increase Burrowing Owl habitat in Oregon"
From the article by Bruce Henrickson, US Army Umatilla Chemical Depot Public Affairs
"Umatilla Chemical Depot, Hermiston, Ore. - While the U.S. Army Umatilla Chemical Depot is best known for the Umatilla Chemical Agent Disposal Facility and its mission to dispose of deadly chemical weapons, life of a different kind thrives in other areas of the depot."
"Not far from the depot chemical weapons storage area containing some of the most deadly substances known to humanity, dozens of pairs of Burrowing Owls . . . have made their homes in abandoned badger dens, old pipes, and other holes dug by small mammals and abandoned. Those burrows are inadvertently protected from human intrusion by the same fences, heavily armed guards and other defensive measures that ensure security of the Umatilla chemical munitions stockpile."
Four nesting pair of owls have now increased their number to sixty nesting pair. Habitation as in some cases through human intervention.
A NATURE PRESERVE AS SO DESIGNATED AND GUARDED!
That particular storage and disposal facility will have to monitored for decades to come. Owls in addition are the proverbial "canary in the coal mine". Those owls if experiencing difficulty of some unknown source surely an advanced warning of some danger. Chemical decontamination and destruction process not 100 % accomplished.