DOI Invests $280 M in Refuges, Hatcheries

Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar said the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will invest $280 million in more than 830 projects through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 to build visitor centers, improve infrastructure, support voluntary habitat conservation partnerships on private land, and bolster conservation at national wildlife refuges and hatcheries across the country.

"Just as the Great Depression and the Dust Bowl of the 1930s were the backdrop for our some of our nation’s greatest conservation efforts under President Franklin Roosevelt, so the current economic and environmental crisis provide an opportunity for us to enhance wildlife conservation while putting Americans back to work under the President’s recovery plan," Salazar said.

The list of projects includes $115 million for construction, repair, and energy efficiency retrofit projects at U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service facilities, and $165 million for habitat restoration, deferred maintenance, and capital improvement projects.

In Montana, the department will fund nearly $3 million in projects, including:

  • $630,000 to the National Bison Range to replace the Failed Mission Creek West Bridge.
  • $550,000 to the Hailstone National Wildlife Refuge to remediate the Hailstone Reservoir from salinity contamination.
  • $249,000 for the Ennis Fish Hatchery to install a photovoltaic system expected to generate up to 75 percent of the station’s energy use.
  • $440,000 to the Creston Fish Hatchery to rehabilitate the hatchery building and property, replacing asbestos siding, installing new energy efficient windows, replacing the roof among other long overdue maintenance.
  • $200,000 to Red Rock Lakes National Wildlife Refuge to replace the Sparrow Pond Trail Bridge and repair or replace the Elk Lake Road kiosk and the refuge shop building.

All the projects represent long-standing priority needs identified by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service through its capital planning process. The agency 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.

Click here for the full list of the projects.

Salazar has appointed a senior adviser for Economic Recovery, Chris Henderson, and an Interior Economic Recovery Task Force. Henderson and the Task Force will work closely with DOI's Inspector General to ensure that the recovery program is meeting the high standards for accountability, responsibility, and transparency that President Obama has set.

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