THE WILD UXO.
We love our outdoor recreation, especially when it's warm, with many activities to choose from like hunting, fishing, hiking, biking, off-roading, diving, snorkeling, treasure hunting, and more. Most of these activities take place on public lands or waters with significant wildlife and natural beauty, but some areas have a hidden hazard from the past ... the wild UXO.
The United States Department of Defense has used land for munitions testing and training throughout the country and its territories for over 200 yea rs. When these lands were no longer needed they were returned to public or private uses, and many are known or suspected to be contaminated with unexploded ordnance (UXO); munitions that did not function when they were supposed to. The Dolly Sods Wilderness Area in West Virginia, Mosquito Lagoon in Florida, and Maunawili Valley in Hawaii are examples of public recreational areas that contain UXO.
Outdoor recreation may be allowed on or near these areas and they are often marked with warning signs that advise of the potential UXO hazards. If you use these areas, follow any provided instructions for your safety (e.g., remain on established trails).
Stay out of restricted areas and do not touch a suspected UXO or any manmade object you do not recognize. If you do find a UXO, follow the3Rs of Explosives Safety from the US Army Corps of Engineers: Recognize, Retreat, Report. Visit their 3R website for additional information at http:// www.usace.army.mil/Missions/ Environmental/Formerly-Used-Defense-Sites/. Another good source for UXO information is at DENIX, http://www.denix.osd. mil/ux/.
Lastly, the domesticated UXO is lust as dangerous as its wild cousin and should not be kept as a souvenir or keepsake. If you or a loved one have a UXO, it may pose an explosive hazard until properly verified and certified safe in writing. Call 911 and tell the police what you have and do not handle it, regardless if it has been handled in the past.
BY MR. RALPH "CHRIS" SANTOS