Interior Secretary, senators visit Canaan Valley project


CANAAN VALLEY, W.Va. – Work is underway on a new building for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service at the Canaan Valley National Wildlife Refuge in Tucker County. It’s been a process that’s been a long time coming, and on Monday morning, the Secretary of the Interior and both West Virginia senators were on hand to see the work.

“Turns out that there’s been a ton of collaboration between the local community and the Fish and Wildlife Service over the years, a lot of leadership by the two senators, and we’re in the process of putting together what I think will be a consolidated office for us, with a wonderful center for the community, as well,” said Bernhardt.

Local refuge officials were also there, and said the new building will provide a centralized location for the FWS to operate, and one where the community space is available on request.

“What we have is a multi-use room that’s going to be split with a partition, and on one side, they can watch the video and go out to the native garden like they’ve always done. But, on the other side, we told the community that if they need to have public meetings, they could just get a hold of us, have the meeting, and they can do it for free,” said Ron Hollis.

Senators Shelley Moore Capito and Joe Manchin toured the site and spoke with workers there. Capito said she is looking forward to the educational opportunities the new building can help facilitate in the area.

“I think that the educational opportunities that are here, both in the valley, but with the science camp and others, the STEM education that can occur here, is very unending. The potential is terrific,” said Capito.

There’s also the potential to help boost tourism in the area, and Manchin said visitors to the region can find out easily what there is to enjoy in the valley.

“Let’s go find out what’s the best of the best, and what we can see and what we can do, and when they see all the hiking and, basically, the skiing and bicycling that we have, and just so many opportunities, and the fishing, it’s going to be tremendous. And, a lot of people don’t know this hidden gem that’s been here for quite some time,” said Manchin.

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