Some 800 acres of tallgrass prairie and wetlands at the former Rocky Flats nuclear weapons plant outside Denver will be set aside as a wildlife preserve, Energy Secretary Bill Richardson announced yesterday. The new Rock Creek Reserve, home to a number of endangered species, was praised by local residents. Richardson also announced that the first shipments of transuranic waste from Rocky Flats are scheduled to be shipped to New Mexico’s Waste Isolation Pilot Plant in mid-June, part of a plan to clean up and close Rocky Flats by 2006. Tom Marshall of the Rocky Mountain Peace and Justice Center said the announcement about the wildlife preserve was just a distraction from the host of environmental messes at Rocky Flats.