Monday, April 27, 2009

Move to Temporary Visitor Center at Red Rock Canyon Slated for May 8th

AAI just received the following email from the Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area:

In preparation for the move into the new visitor center currently under construction at Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area, the BLM will be moving to a temporary visitor center beginning May 8. The new visitor arrival building is expected to open in late June.

The temporary visitor center will feature a staffed information desk, exhibits including microscopes, dioramas, pictographs and taxidermy animals as well as a gift shop. Exhibits will be moved from the current visitor center beginning May 1.

The temporary visitor center will be located in a portable trailer in the lower parking lot of the current visitor center. More than 100 parking spaces will remain available at the site and restrooms will remain open.

When the visitor arrival building opens in late June, the temporary visitor center will be removed and the exhibits, information desk and gift shop will move to the 8,900 square foot indoor portion of the visitor arrival center. The attached amphitheater will also open at that time.

Construction will continue on the exterior displays; the former visitor center will be converted into administrative offices; and the fee booth area/contact station will be remodeled. By mid- November, construction is expected to be completed.

When the current visitor center opened in 1982, about 20,000 people visited Red Rock. Now more than a million people a year visit the area. To address this issue, the Secretary of the Interior approved funding under the Southern Nevada Public Land Management Act to build a new visitor center to provide enhanced visitor services to the increasing number of people who visit the National Conservation Area each year.

The facility is designed to encourage stewardship for public land by providing an outdoor experience that instills a sense of personal responsibility. Both the visitor center and the administration building components of the project will undergo the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design certification process.

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The BLM manages more land –258 million acres –than any other Federal agency. This land, known as the National System of Public Lands, is primarily located in 12 Western States, including Alaska. The Bureau, with a budget of about $1 billion, also administers 700 million acres of sub-surface mineral estate throughout the nation. The BLM’s multiple-use mission is to sustain the health and productivity of the public lands for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations. The Bureau accomplishes this by managing such activities as outdoor recreation, livestock grazing, mineral development, and energy production, and by conserving natural, historical, cultural, and other resources on public lands.

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