DAVIS, W.Va. – U.S. Senator Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.) today joined U.S. Secretary of the Interior David Bernhardt to tour the construction of a new multi-use facility at the Canaan Valley National Wildlife Refuge and meet with U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) employees and refuge stakeholders.
“Securing funding for this new visitor center was a big priority of mine for a long time, and I’m thrilled to see this effort finally coming to completion,” Senator Capito said. “From attracting new visitors—which also helps drive economic growth—to making it easier for West Virginians and anyone else visiting our state to enjoy and appreciate this area’s natural beauty, this new center is going to be such an asset to the refuge and to our state.”
“It was great to see the progress being made at the new facility at the Canaan Valley National Wildlife Refuge with Senator Manchin and Senator Capito. When completed, the new facility will improve government efficiency, support local jobs and the economy in the Canaan Valley, and boost recreational opportunities,” Secretary Bernhardt said.
The new facility includes a reception and exhibit space and multipurpose room for the public, as well as administrative offices to house staff from the refuge, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) West Virginia Ecological Services field office, and the Office of Law Enforcement. Construction is also underway to expand outdoor recreation opportunities and improve trails at the Canaan Valley National Wildlife Refuge.
Earlier this month the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service issued a new economic report titled, Banking on Nature 2017: The Economic Contributions of National Wildlife Refuge Recreational Visitation to Local Communities. According to the report, 53.6 million people visited national wildlife refuges in 2017, which had an economic impact of $3.2 billion on local communities and supported more than 41,000 jobs.
In its FY2018 budget justification plan, the Department of the Interior outlined how it will spend the funds provided in the recent omnibus for Fish and Wildlife Service Construction. The plan included $7 million for the Canaan Valley National Wildlife Refuge Visitor Center and Administrative Building.
Below is a timeline of Senator Capito’s efforts to secure this funding:
Senator Capito talks with Secretary Bernhardt and Margaret Everson, principal deputy director of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and a native West Virginian.
Senator Capito, Secretary Bernhardt, and Deputy Director Everson tour the new visitors’ center construction site.
Senator Capito meets a construction worker working on the site.
Senator Capito talks with Jon Bush and Lowell Moore, Tucker County commissioners.
Senator Capito poses with the staff of the Canaan Valley National Wildlife Refuge.
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