What Should Visitors to Rocky Flats Be Told?

Colorado's Rocky Flats (search) is being transformed into a wildlife refuge and recreational area for the public. But the 65,000-acre complex's history as a site for nuclear weapons material has some area residents nervous about the government-sponsored makeover.

"Well, I wouldn't go out there and about anybody who knows what's going on or has gone on will not go out there," declares state Rep. Wes McKinley (search).

The recently elected Democrat was the foreman of a federal grand jury that investigated allegations of widespread contamination at Rocky Flats. He plans to introduce legislation requiring visitors to the future park to sign a consent form warning them of the potential dangers.

"Anyone going out there should be educated, should be informed [and] told of what has happened out there and what can happen to them," McKinley said.

But Dave Abelson, who is familiar with the clean-up efforts, said the site can be made safe for human recreation.

Abelson heads the Rocky Flats Coalition of Local Governments (search), which works to ensure the effective de-contamination of the area. While he admitted decades of nuclear weapons activity has had severe environmental effects, he insisted the massive rehabilitation of the site could serve as a barometer for other former nuclear facilities across the nation.

"I personally go out there myself. I feel very comfortable going out there," Abelson said.

Abelson worries McKinley's legislation might scare the public away from the land, over what he said amounts to residual levels of contamination.

"If you look at comparative amounts of a dose from radiation, there's greater risk from going to the dentist and having your teeth X-rayed than there is from Rocky Flats," McKinley said.

The Department of Energy has stated that the cleanup at Rocky Flats far exceeds what the law requires. U.S. Fish and Wildlife will assume control of the site beginning in 2007.

Click in the box near the top of the story to watch a report by FOX News' Alicia Acuna.