Office of External Affairs
Mountain-Prairie Region

NEWS RELEASE

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
Mountain-Prairie Region
134 Union Boulevard
Lakewood, Colorado 80228

April 28, 2010

 

Contact: Michael Mascari, (303) 236-4336,

michael_mascari@fws.gov

Michael ‘Bo’ Brown (970) 667-2203,

bbrown@graconcorp.com

Kim Hansen, Refuge Manager (701) 285-3341

kim_hansen@fws.gov                           

                           

 

New Jobs Created as U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service awards North Dakota company $5.2 Million for Recovery Act Project at Arrowwood National Wildlife Refuge

PINGREE, N.D. Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar announced the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service awarded Rolette, North Dakota-based Keplin-Gracon JV a $5.2 million contract through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) for construction projects at Arrowwood National Wildlife Refuge.

Keplin-Gracon JV will use the Recovery Act funds to build a new refuge headquarters with a visitor center north of the current site.  The original headquarters building and nearby structures—many of which date back to the creation of the refuge in the 1930s—lie in a floodplain on the shore of Arrowwood Lake.  The building will be part of a new complex on a bluff 60-80 feet above the existing location.

“This is a project that is long overdue,” said Steve Guertin, director of the Service’s eight-state Mountain-Prairie Region. “This project will ensure the refuge’s future and should have positive economic benefits for the area.” 

The land where the headquarters complex currently sits became a floodplain after the construction of Jamestown Reservoir in 1956. Water reached the emergency spillway-level last year. The water level subsides naturally during most years but floodwaters inundate the complex during years with high snowfall.  The facility flooded three times in the past decade. 

The new building will be certified through the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) process. The building will be constructed using sustainable design and energy conservation technology including energy efficient fixtures, wind turbine produced electricity and geothermal heating.

Workers will break ground in May and the project should take one year to complete.  “This project is really exciting for the Fish and Wildlife Service. Using new technologies, they will have a very sustainable building that should last for the future and greatly expand their ability to perform their mission,” Keplin-Gracon project manager Michael “Bo” Brown said. “It’s also a significant project for the area. It will have a positive impact on the job market.”

The facility will be headquarters for the Arrowwood National Wildlife Refuge Complex. The complex consists of several refuges and three wetlands management districts covering nine counties.

The Recovery Act gave $3 billion to the Department of the Interior. Of that amount, $280 million in funding goes to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service nationally. The stimulus funds represent an important component of the President's plan to jumpstart the economy and put a down payment on addressing long-neglected challenges so the country can thrive in the 21st century.  Under the act, Interior is making an investment in conserving America's timeless treasures – our stunning natural landscapes, our monuments to liberty, the icons of our culture and heritage – while helping American families and their communities prosper again. Interior is also focusing on renewable energy projects, the needs of American Indians, employing youth and promoting community service. 

“With its investments of Recovery Act funds, the Department of the Interior and its bureaus are putting people to work today to make improvements that will benefit the environment and the region for many years to come,” said Secretary Salazar. 

 

For a full list of funded projects nationwide, go to the Interior Department’s Recovery Web Site at http://recovery.doi.gov/ .  For a list of Service projects visit http://recovery.doi.gov/press/bureaus/us-fish-and-wildlife-service/

 

Secretary Salazar has pledged unprecedented levels of transparency and accountability in the implementation of the Department’s economic recovery projects. The public will be able to follow the progress of each project on the recovery web site which will include an interactive map that enables the public to track where and how the Department’s recovery dollars are being spent.  In addition, the public can submit questions, comments or concerns at recoveryact@fws.gov

 

The mission of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is working with others to conserve, protect and enhance fish, wildlife, plants and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. We are both a leader and trusted partner in fish and wildlife conservation, known for our scientific excellence, stewardship of lands and natural resources, dedicated professionals and commitment to public service. For more information on our work and the people who make it happen, visit www.fws.gov.                                 

 

 

 

-FWS-