The brand new headquarters facility at the Canaan Valley National Wildlife Refuge in Tucker County, part a bigger $7 million refuge improvement project, was anticipated to open to the general public this autumn, although no precise date had been set as of this week.
“There’s still a bit of work left to do on exhibits. However we’re working in direction of completion,” stated Ron Hollis, refuge manager for the Canaan Valley National Wildlife Refuge.
Hollis informed this on Thursday morning earlier than a scheduled visit from Kate MacGregor, U.S. Deputy Secretary of the interior, Aurelia Skipwith, director of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and U.S. Senator Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.).
Capito, who helped to secure project funding in the Department of Interior’s budget for FY 2018, visited the site when it was under construction in July 2019 with David Bernhardt, U.S. secretary of the interior, and U.S. Senator Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.).
This week’s visit, designed to spotlight the significance of entry to public lands, was to include a tour of the brand new multi-purpose facility which changed the previous aging visitor center.
“It’s LEED silver which suggests it has energy-efficient measures like solar panels, radiant floor heat, really good windows, top-of-the-line insulation,” Hollis defined.
“It has a space where general public or the group coming can have meetings in one side of our room. And within the other side we will present the video and it’s all contained.”
Along with public area for meetings and programs, the 8,380-square-foot facility homes or will home separate administrative area for refuge employees, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, West Virginia Ecological Services and the Workplace of Law Enforcement.
Prior to now, the Workplace of Law Enforcement had been situated in Elkins.
The building was simply one of many enhancements within the Canaan Valley Wildlife Refuge.
“It actually provides the picture of U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service what I think it deserves in this area,” Hollis stated.
Due to COVID-19, an opening date was dependent on compliance with guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Plans have made for a grand opening celebration in 2021.
Two trails have lately opened to the general public.
Hollis stated the renovated Freeland Boardwalk, which is compliant with requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act and accessible for wheelchairs and strollers, is the most widely-used trail within the Canaan Valley National Wildlife Refuge.
Moreover, the Farm View Trail was additionally accessible for hikers and bikers.
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