Date: August 20, 2009
Contact: Hugh Vickery
On a two-week visit to Alaska, Assistant Secretary of the Interior for Fish and Wildlife and Parks Tom Strickland today highlighted more than $85 million that Interior is investing in Alaska under the President’s economic recovery package. The funding is designed to create jobs, stimulate local economies, and enable rehabilitation and improvement projects at national parks, refuges, and other public lands in the state.
“As I have traveled the state from Anchorage to the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, I have been pleased that the President’s recovery plan is putting Alaskans back to work and helping lay a new foundation for economic growth in Alaska communities,” Strickland said. “At the same time, we are building a better future for our nation’s parks and other public lands, so that those who visit will have a more enjoyable and fulfilling experience.”
Among the Recovery Act investments Interior is making in Alaska, Strickland cited more than $1 million that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is investing at Kenai National Wildlife Refuge to renovate cabins used by visitors, rehabilitate waysides and spurs at Rainbow Lake, and replace the heating and air condition system in the visitor’s center.
The funding is part of $3 billion that the Department of the Interior nationwide under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, signed earlier this year by President Obama. Much of the investment is being dedicated to longstanding maintenance and infrastructure projects that will generate jobs for local workers.
For example, the National Park Service is investing more than $1 million at Glacier Bay National Park to demolish and replace a deteriorated storage building, repaint and do maintenance on four vessels, and undertake other infrastructure projects.
Meanwhile, the Bureau of Land Management is investing more than $37 million across the state, including $26 million to remediate abandoned mines.
“Many of these are hard-hat, lunch-pail type projects that are getting people back to work in these tough economic times,” Strickland said. “They are exactly what the President envisioned when he asked Congress to pass the economic recovery legislation. We are helping Alaska and the country get moving again.”
A complete list of project funded under the Recovery Act in Alaska is available on line at http://recovery.doi.gov/
Hear excerpts from an interview with Assistant Secretary Strickland at http://www.doi.gov/aunews.html#a818