New Jobs; San Francisco Firm Awarded $4.3 Million in Stimulus Funding for Irrigation Project at National Elk Refuge


New jobs are being created and lives are changing, thanks to $4.3 million dollars in Recovery funding for construction of a new irrigation system at the National Elk Refuge in Jackson, Wyoming. The San Francisco based firm, “Yerba Buena Engineering and Construction” was recently awarded the Recovery contract from the U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

The project should steadily employ 40-50 people at any given time, with most of them subcontractors from the local area, according to Yerba Buena Project Manager Lee Barrus. “One of the things the Recovery Act has done is to give us opportunities we don’t normally have. We have been successful in finding opportunities, but this is a major boost. It ramps up business and will definitely help us to grow our company,” Barrus said.

The new employees will replace and expand the irrigation system on the 25,000 acre refuge. To date, the work is the Service’s largest stimulus project in the Mountain-Prairie region.  “It’s phenomenal. This project is only possible because of Recovery Act dollars. The chances of getting those funds by other means were unlikely,” said Steve Kallin, manager, National Elk Refuge.

The Service is developing partnerships with businesses like Yerba Buena that hire employees to perform a wide range of work promoting the Service’s mission to conserve, protect and enhance fish, wildlife, plants and their habitats.

“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 explains. “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.”

Visit our websites to review and get a closer look at ARRA projects taking place through the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Websites of reference: and You can also email

DOI Recovery Investments by Bureau

Last Updated: February 02, 2012
Content contact: