The Mountain Longleaf National Wildlife Refuge will not open to the public for hunting and wildlife observation as planned October first because of an investigation into an unexploded ordnance removal violation.
The refuge spans 9,016 acres of the former Fort McClellan and is owned by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. The service was planning to open about 3,300 acres when the Alabama Department of Environmental Management issued an order accusing an Army contractor of illegally moving munitions instead of disposing of them. The order stopped the Army's unexploded ordnance cleanup at McClellan.
The wildlife agency says it will monitor investigations in the coming weeks to ensure that no more irregularities in ordnance disposal took place.