September 9, 2010

Explore Audubon National Wildlife Refuge’s new visitor center

By Michael Johnson, Editor

The North Dakota landscape has a great influence on the culture of the people within it. In order to preserve that culture some people have taken the steps to preserve the land. Last week one local refuge opened the doors of its new visitor center to continue the tradition of preservation for generations to come. The Audubon National Wildlife Refuge, though already established since 1956 as Snake Creek National Wildlife Refuge, dedicated its new visitor center with a large tent full of folks from all over the US Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), local and federal governments, representatives of local wildlife clubs and dozens of other locals all excited to step inside and see the new center.  It’s a very unique place partially because it is the first USFWS building to be completed under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. The $6.3 million building is also built to be environmentally friendly and is in the process of becoming a LEED (Leader in Energy and Environmental Design) certified building. Officials of the US Fish and Wildlife Service dedicated the building in style outside of the center on a rainy and cool September morning. The invited groups were treated with roasted buffalo, provided by the Three Affiliated Tribes, after the officials talked about the various contributors to the project which included over 100 workers and 52 contractors and subcontractors. Forty of those were from North Dakota.

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