Beatrix Treiterer or Bart McDermott 916-775-4421
SACRAMENTO – A long-awaited project that will expand public access at the Stone Lakes national Wildlife Refuge in Elk Grove, Calif., took a major step forward today with U.S. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar’s announcement that Recovery Act funds will pay for upgrades at the Blue Heron Trail.
“The Recovery Act is putting people to work today to make a long-term positive difference for our communities and our environment,” U.S. Department of the Interior Secretary Ken Salazar explained. “We are providing good jobs during these difficult economic times while undertaking important conservation and construction work at the refuge that will make it a better place for both people and wildlife.”
The $217,000 contract for the 4,000-foot Blue Heron Trail, which will provide improved public access to the refuge wetland, has been awarded to Yerba Buena Engineering of San Francisco. The trail is part of the refuge’s long-term plans for improving public access and environmental education programs on the refuge, located approximately 25 miles south of Sacramento. When completed, the refuge will use the trail to facilitate environmental education programs for visiting school groups and volunteers. The project will involve the concrete paving of existing gravel trails, and construction of two 25-foot wide concrete pads.
The 2,606-acre Stone Lakes National Wildlife Refuge is part of a network of seasonally flooded agricultural lands, natural and managed wetlands that provide habitat for migratory birds, fish and other wildlife in the northern Sacramento – San Joaquin River Delta. The refuge is one of 46 refuges in California, Nevada and Klamath Basin of Oregon managed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Pacific Southwest Region.
Funding for this project and hundreds more across the nation comes from the Recovery Act. Of the $3 billion appropriated to the Department of the Interior, the Act provides $280 million for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. The Pacific Southwest Region portion includes $17.82 million for construction, repair and energy efficiency retrofit projects at Service facilities, and $7.15 million for habitat restoration, deferred maintenance and capital improvement projects.
Under the Recovery Act, the Department of the Interior is making an investment in conserving America's timeless natural and historical treasures, while also focusing on renewable energy projects, employing youth and promoting community service.
For a full list of funded projects nationwide, go to the Department’s Recovery Web Site at http://recovery.doi.gov/. Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar has pledged unprecedented levels of transparency and accountability in the implementation of the Department of the Interior’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 email@example.com.
Contract opportunities for all Recovery and Reinvestment Act projects are announced on the Internet at FedBizOpps.gov (www.fbo.gov ). More information about this and other Fish and Wildlife Service projects is available at http://recovery.doi.gov/press/bureaus/us-fish-and-wildlife-service .
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 .
More information about Stone Lakes NWR is available at: http://www.fws.gov/stonelakes