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KANUTI: New interagency visitor center opens in Bettles
Alaska Region, June 3, 2009
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A new office and visitor center in Bettles, Alaska was formally opened to the public by (l to r) Pat Pourchot,  Alaska Affairs Special Assistant to the Secretary of Interior, Todd Logan, Chief of the National Wildlife Refuge System in Alaska, and Vic Knox, Assistant Regional Director of the National Park Service, on June 3, 2009. FWS Photo by Joanna Fox.
A new office and visitor center in Bettles, Alaska was formally opened to the public by (l to r) Pat Pourchot, Alaska Affairs Special Assistant to the Secretary of Interior, Todd Logan, Chief of the National Wildlife Refuge System in Alaska, and Vic Knox, Assistant Regional Director of the National Park Service, on June 3, 2009. FWS Photo by Joanna Fox. - Photo Credit: n/a
A new energy efficient visitor center and office building next to the Bettles airport was formally opened to the public on June 3, 2009 during a community potluck dinner and open house. FWS photo by Joanna Fox.
A new energy efficient visitor center and office building next to the Bettles airport was formally opened to the public on June 3, 2009 during a community potluck dinner and open house. FWS photo by Joanna Fox. - Photo Credit: n/a

On June 3, nearly every resident of Bettles and Evansville joined two dozen U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and National Park Service employees to dedicate the opening of a new interagency visitor center and office located next to the Bettles airport.  The ribbon was cut by Pat Pourchot, the Special Assistant to the Secretary of Interior for Alaska Affairs; Vic Knox, Assistant Regional Director of the National Park Service; and Todd Logan, Chief of the National Wildlife Refuge System in Alaska. 

Knox said that the project provided a good example of the two agencies working together to better serve the public.

 

The new visitor center and office building replaces facilities that burned to the ground in January 2004, and will serve as one of three ranger stations for Gates of the Arctic National Park and as the field headquarters for Kanuti National Wildlife Refuge. The Bettles office and visitor center, and a separate employee bunkhouse, were designed around the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) principles. Both buildings have features which contribute to sustainability; including energy-efficient super-insulation, extensive natural lighting, superior thermal windows, high-recycled-content materials (carpeting, insulation, etc.), solar panels, and use of local materials. Both facilities can also supplement heating with firewood.

 

Design Alaska in Fairbanks was contracted for planning and design, and the Wasilla-based Collins Construction Co. was the general contractor. For more information on Kanuti National Wildlife Refuge, go to http://kanuti.fws.gov/More information about the National Park Service’s Gates of the Arctic Park can be found at www.nps.gov/gaar.

 


Contact Info: Joanna Fox, (907) 456-0330, joanna_fox@fws.gov



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