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Colorado company completes stimulus funded project to build Black Rock facility


usfs-logo-282x300-1501820-5832941USFS NEWS RELEASE

WINNEMUCCA — The Bureau of Land Management (BLM), an agency of the Department of the Interior, has completed construction of the Black Rock Station, a facility that will serve as a visitor contact center and administrative office for the Winnemucca District, Black Rock Field Office.  A nearly $2.9 million contract under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) was awarded to the URS Group, Inc., a construction and engineering firm out of Denver, Colo., to build the facility.  The new Black Rock Station is just outside of Gerlach, Nev., in the Black Rock Desert-High Rock Canyon Emigrant Trails National Conservation Area (NCA).  The facility opened to the public on July 15.  A ribbon-cutting ceremony is scheduled for August.

The facility includes three structures: an administrative office and small visitor contact area, a small bunkhouse, a warehouse and fire engine building.

“This facility will help the BLM provide better service to visitors to the NCA,” said Black Rock Field Manager Rolando Mendez.  “With the district office nearly 100 miles away by gravel road, this facility will provide critical responsiveness in controlling wildland fire by staging a fire engine and small crew in the area, and will provide space to store agency equipment for use in this remote area.”

The project provided jobs for about 50 construction workers over a 10-month period.  The crews helped the local economy by making purchases at the local restaurant, gas station and motel.

“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 region for many years to come,” Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar said.

The ARRA funds are part of a stimulus package that is an important component of the President’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 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.

Non-ARRA funds were obtained for interpretive panels on the California National Historic Trail, maps and safety information as well as information on many of the resources in the area such as wildlife, wilderness and recreational opportunities.

The facility will be open seasonally through November and will be staffed by BLM personnel.  A BLM fire crew will operate out of the facility from July to September.

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