25 Mar 2010, 2:05pm
Latest Wildlife News
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Stimulus Funding for Turnbull National Wildlife Refuge

Companies Awarded $613,000 in Stimulus Funding for Energy Efficiency, Renewable Energy, and Fence Removal Projects at Turnbull National Wildlife Refuge

USFWS News Release, March 25, 2010 [here]

Cheney, Washington State - The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, an agency of the Department of the Interior, has awarded two contracts totaling $612,648 under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act to Northern Management Services and Jenks, Inc., for improvements at the Turnbull National Wildlife Refuge.

Jenks, Inc. used the funding to provide materials to replace a 3-mile stretch of boundary fence to prevent the unintentional trespass of grazing animals from neighboring landowners. Northern Management Services (NMS) will engineer geothermal and solar systems to take advantage of existing renewable energy resources for the refuge. In addition, NMS will help the refuge decrease its energy use through the installation of insulation, light fixtures, solar tubes and the replacement of outdated windows and cooling units. These projects are expected to employ approximately 21 workers.

We have been forced to use staff time to round up these cattle in the past, and this takes away from our stated mission at Turnbull,” Refuge Manager Dan Matiatos said. “The renewable energy and energy efficiency projects will definitely help us use less energy, improve the work we do and save the American public money.”

“This project is exciting for us here at NMS, not only in that it keeps our employees busy and gives them a job, but that it [also] focuses on alternative energy sources,” NMS project manager Larry Smith said. “Renewable and alternative energy seems to be the way things are going, and we want to be at the forefront of that modernization effort.”

The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act passed earlier this year 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.

“These ARRA funded projects help illustrate our continued commitment to both job creation and the reduction of dependency on traditional energy sources,” Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar said. “If we can meet these goals and simultaneously advance the mission of the Fish and Wildlife Service, everyone wins.”

The ARRA funds are part of a stimulus package that is an important component of President Obama’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 ARRA, 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 our 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,” Salazar said.

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 http://www.recovery.gov and on http://www.interior.gov/recovery

Secretary Salazar has appointed a Senior Advisor for Economic Recovery, Chris Henderson, and an Interior Economic Recovery Task Force to work closely with Interior’s Inspector General to ensure the recovery program is meeting the high standards for accountability, responsibility, and transparency set by President Obama. … [more]

Note: emphasis added for humorous effect. Thanks to Julie Kay Smithson [here, here]

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