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Release No. 0428.10
Contact:
Nan Christianson (970) 817-1987

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Secretary Vilsack Opens New World-Class USDA Forest Service Research Facility

Recovery Act Funding Supports Research to Address Climate Change, Revitalize Rural Communities

FORT COLLINS, Colo., August 27, 2010 – Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today joined Colorado Governor Bill Ritter and Forest Service Chief Tom Tidwell to formally open a state-of-the-art, energy efficient Forest Service Rocky Mountain Research Station. The new lab's three very specialized labs, which will support critical research on climate change, air quality, forest ecosystem adaptation processes and water resources, were partially funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (Recovery Act).

"Investments in research are critical in helping us enhance our understanding and management of watersheds and forests in the decades ahead," Vilsack said. "This research facility enables scientists to conduct research on, and find solutions for, some of the toughest challenges facing America's natural resource managers today."

The remarkable laboratory capabilities will not only support policy decisions and management actions, research from the new lab will help forests mitigate and adapt to climate change. The building has energy conservation design elements integrated into its structure and landscaping. Of the $5.3 million invested in the new research facility, 29% came from the Recovery Act.

Vilsack also highlighted the role the research at the new lab will play in revitalizing rural America. "Work on carbon sequestration, water, wildlife habitats, and climate change will help quantify the value of our forested lands so we build ecosystem markets and provide rural landowners with new income opportunities," he said.

Additional information is available on-line at http://www.fs.fed.us/rmrs/ or by calling the Rocky Mountain Research Station at 970-498-1100.

The mission of the USDA Forest Service is to sustain the health, diversity, and productivity of the Nation's forests and grasslands to meet the needs of present and future generations. The Agency manages 193 million acres of public land, provides assistance to State and private landowners, and maintains the largest forestry research organization in the world.

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