Alexandra Pitts, 916/414 6464
Sacramento, CA –
From California’s Central Valley to the high desert of Nevada and the Klamath Basin, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will undertake 59 construction, energy efficiency, habitat restoration and other improvement projects at national wildlife refuges, fish hatcheries and other public and private lands to create jobs and ensure our nation’s fish and wildlife resources, treasured landscapes, and rich heritage are conserved for future generations, Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar announced today.
These projects total approximately $26.8 million for improvements within the Pacific Southwest.
Funding for these projects and hundreds more across the nation comes from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. Of the $3 billion appropriated to the Department of the Interior, the Act provides $280 million for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service – which 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.
The Service will benefit from an additional $10 million, which is administered by the Department of Transportation and is not included in the Service’s $280 million appropriation that will be used to rebuild and improve roads on several national wildlife refuges. Projects will immediately create local jobs in the communities where they are located, while stimulating long-term employment and economic opportunities for the American public.
“These projects are an investment in America’s future that will help get our country moving again,” Salazar said. “They will enable us to preserve our rich history and natural heritage by conserving and restoring awe-inspiring landscapes, important historic sites and crucial wildlife habitat.”
The $26.8 million announced today for the Pacific Southwest Region will go to U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service projects including:
- Capital Improvements: $1.47 million
- Deferred Maintenance of facilities and infrastructure: $4.94 million
- Habitat Restoration: $2.58 million
- Construction of new visitor centers and other facilities: $15.78 million
- Reconstruction and Repair of Service buildings and other structures: $1.27 million
- Energy Efficiency Retrofits of Service facilities: $777,000
The 59 projects are spread out through both California and Nevada and the Klamath Basin They will benefit National Wildlife Refuges such as the San Luis NWR in the Central Valley, where more than $9.78 million will be spent to construct an energy efficient headquarters and visitor facility, as well as National Fish Hatcheries in California and Nevada, where $624,000 will be spent to make energy efficiency upgrades. Project highlights include:
- $6 million for a new Visitor Center/Headquarters and Administrative Building at San Diego Bay NWR;
- $9.78 million for a new Visitor Center/Headquarters Building at San Luis NWR; and
- $245,000 to create “walking wetlands” at Tule Lake NWR.
- $107,000 to fund the Susie Creek Fish Barrier as part of the Western Native Trout Initiative;
- Arcata Fish and Wildlife Office: $246,000 for Humboldt Bay Restoration Projects;
- Carlsbad Fish and Wildlife Office: $211,000 for Catalina Coastal and Maritime Habitat Restoration;
- Ventura Fish and Wildlife Office: $170,000 for stream barrier removal to benefit threatened steelhead and coho salmon; and
- Red Bluff Fish and Wildlife Office: $435,000 for Restoration of Big Bear Flats.
"Our Recovery Act funding provides short-term dollars that will result in long-term benefits to the people of California, Nevada and Klamath Basin who entrust us with the conservation of their fish and wildlife resources," said Ren Lohoefener, Pacific Southwest Regional Director. “I am especially pleased by the much needed construction projects that will enrich our connections to the public and provide a welcomed economic contribution to communities."
All the projects announced today represent long-standing priority needs identified by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service through its capital planning process. The Service worked through a rigorous merit-based process to identify and prioritize investments meeting the criteria put forth in the Recovery Act: namely, that a project addresses the Department’s highest priority mission needs; generates the largest number of jobs in the shortest period of time; and creates lasting value for the American public.
Under the Recovery and Reinvestment 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 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
Secretary Salazar also has appointed a Senior Advisor for Economic Recovery, Chris Henderson
, and an Interior Economic Recovery Task Force. Henderson and the Task Force will work closely with the Department of the Interior’s Inspector General to ensure the Recovery Program is meeting the high standards for accountability, responsibility, and transparency that President Obama has set.
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.