Sudbury Training Annex
The Fort Devens Sudbury Training Annex, or "Ammunition Dump" as the Annex is locally known, is an inactive 2,450 acre site. The Annex was most recently used by Army reservists for troop field training during Desert Storm. The Sudbury Training Annex to Fort Devens includes portions of the towns of Sudbury, Maynard, Hudson, and Stow. The area around the base is mainly agricultural interspersed with residential areas.
Established in the early 1940s as the Maynard Ammunition Depot, the installation became known as the Maynard Ordnance Test Station after World War II. In the mid-1950s, the facility became known as the U.S. Army Natick Research and Development Command and was used for troop training and disposal of certain wastes from Natick Laboratory. Between 1980 and 1983, the area was transferred to Fort Devens 12 miles to the northeast. The primary mission of both installations is to train active duty personnel to support various Army units.
Environmental studies since FY80 identified several site types, including an old landfill, disposal and dump areas, a fire training pit, ordnance test areas, a leach field, Underground Storage Tanks (UST), a drum storage area, a burning ground area, and a chemical research and development area. In FY86, Remedial Investigation and Feasibility Study (RI/FS) activities confirmed groundwater contamination at two sites.
On 05 August 1996 Secretary of the Interior Bruce Babbitt announced the addition of a parcel of about 2,300 acres of U.S. Army land to the Great Meadows National Wildlife Refuge. The land, formerly known as the Fort Devens Sudbury Training Annex, is located near Boston.
According to surveys by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service and other conservation groups, the Sudbury Annex provides habitat for a large number of resident bird species, including waterfowl, songbirds, raptors, shore birds and wading birds, as well as migratory birds and waterfowl. In addition, a number of reptile and amphibian species have been observed, some rare or in peril.
The proposal to transfer the Sudbury Annex began as a result of recommendations of the Base Closure Commission. The Fish & Wildlife Service requested a no-cost transfer of the Annex in November, 1995, and this request received support from four local towns and several local conservation associations, as well as key members of Massachusetts' Congressional delegation, including Senators Kerry and Kennedy and Congressman Meehan.
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