August 18, 2009

Wyden, Merkley Announce $6.8 Million For Deschutes National Forest Facility

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Senators Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) and Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) announced today that the Deschutes National Forest will receive $6.825 million in funding from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act to improve access to facilities the public needs at the Deschutes National Forest and create much-needed construction jobs. The funding will combine with $8 million in existing available Forest Service funds to build a new joint administrative office facility for the Deschutes National Forest Headquarters and the Bend Fort Rock Ranger District in Bend, Oregon and create jobs in the local building trades over an estimated 16-month period.

"These Recovery funds will bring good, family-wage construction jobs to a part of Oregon that's been having a hard time," said Wyden. "Folks in Deschutes County will have more of the government services they need under one roof -- and the building will run on state-of-the-art energy solutions that will save money down the line, too."

"Month after month, the Recovery Act continues to support working families and move our economy to solid ground," Merkley said. "This new facility in Deschutes County will save money, improve services and, most importantly, create jobs in Central Oregon."

The office facility built with these Recovery funds will replace two existing leased offices with a facility that will house government offices for the local U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and save more than $1 million per year in lease costs. The building is being designed under the Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design (LEED) rating system. To conserve energy and take advantage of renewable resources, a woody biomass boiler will heat the facility and the building is designed to accommodate future solar panels. The new facility will provide one-stop public information services for Deschutes county residents and visitors.