Secretary Salazar Highlights Public Lands Projects, Job Creation in Utah During Visit to Salt Lake City - More than $107 Million under President's Economic Recovery Plan
More than $107 Million under President’s Economic Recovery Plan
Contact: Hugh Vickery
SALT LAKE CITY, UT – Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar today highlighted the significant steps the Obama administration is taking to create jobs and stimulate economic growth in Utah while conserving national parks, refuges, and other public lands, including more than $107 million invested in the state by the Interior Department under the President’s economic recovery plan.
Salazar also cited the designation of more than more than 256,000 acres of land in Utah as wilderness and nearly 166 miles of the Virgin River and its tributaries as National Wild and Scenic Rivers under the Omnibus Public Lands Act of 2009, signed by President Obama in March. The act also creates the Beaver Dam Wash Conservation Area and the Red Cliffs National Conservation Area in Washington County, enhances protections for the endangered desert tortoise and provides recreational opportunities for the public.
“Throughout our nation’s history, Americans have used times of crisis to protect and enhance our treasured landscapes and other special places of natural beauty,” Salazar said. “President Obama is building on this great tradition by putting Americans back to work at our parks and refuges and on other public lands. Here in Utah, we are creating jobs that are an investment in the legacy we will hand down to our children and grandchildren.”
Investments in Utah American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 include:
- $13.1 million to demolish and replace condemned portions of the Quarry Visitor Center in Dinosaur National Monument. This facility has been closed for nearly 3 years due to safety concerns in the building from an unstable foundation.
- $797,000 install additional photovoltaic panels at Zion National Park will for. The photovoltaic arrays will power the headquarters, museum, and other buildings, reducing energy costs by 25 percent.
- $75,000 to rehabilitate a maintenance facility for energy efficiency at Canyonlands National Park.
- $56,000 at Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge to enhance existing public trail access to the refuge's rich wetland resources.
- $50,000 to hire young people to work on important conservation effort through a variety of established programs such as the Student Conservation Association and Youth Conservation Corps, including invasive species control and environmental education at Bear River refuge and at Ouray National Wildlife Refuge.
- $47.7 million to support a number of water projects under the Central Utah Project Completion Act. Interior's Central Utah Project Completion Act Office will use $41 million to construct portions of the Utah Lake System pipelines for use in conveying an additional 60,000 acre-feet of water to Utah and Salt Lake Counties. In addition, $9 million of funding will be used for construction of a Ute Tribal fish hatchery and other fish and wildlife projects.
- $3 million to support road maintenance on tribal lands.
- $272,000 to upgrade streamgages used by the U.S. Geological Survey to better improve water management and monitor floods.
- $700,000 will be used for completion of repair work at Upper Stillwater Dam which has been underway for the past five years.
“When we invest in our public lands, we are effectively investing in our economy,” Salazar said. “These projects themselves not only create jobs but many of them indirectly support jobs throughout the economy by promoting outdoor recreation. Studies show that hiking, fishing, boating, hunting and other outdoor recreation pump $5.9 billion each year into Utah’s economy, supporting 65,000 jobs. We are truly making an investment in our future.”
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