Parks receive stimulus funds: Crater Lake, Lava Beds to use funding for improvements – April 24, 2009

Parks receive stimulus funds: Crater Lake, Lava Beds to use funding for improvements

Herald and News

Klamath Falls, Oregon
April 24, 2009

By Lee Juillerat

H&N Regional Editor

Captain Jack’s Stronghold is one of the Lava Beds National Monument’s most popular attractions. Lava Beds and Crater Lake National Park will receive federal stimulus money for improvements.

Crater Lake National Park and Lava Beds National Monument will receive $367,000 and $511,000, respectively, from federal stimulus money.

Interior Secretary Ken Salazar announced Wednesday that $750 million in stimulus funding would be used to restore and repair national parks.

At Crater Lake, the money will pay for installing heating and cooling systems in three buildings and a fire system in a historic warehouse.

“We’re very happy to get the $367,000,” said Craig Ackerman, Crater Lake’s superintendent. “Those projects might have had to been put off for several years otherwise.”

The park did not apply for stimulus money to convert the former Rim Village gift shop to the park’s first-ever visitor center because structural engineers determined the building needs a new foundation, which will require more planning. Estimated cost of a visitor center is $5 million.

“I would have absolutely loved to have had the Rim Village visitor project to go,” Ackerman said.

He said about $60,000 will be used to install the fire system in a historic warehouse with the rest used for improved heat management systems in the park headquarters building, Steel Center and Canfield building. During winter days, it’s not uncommon for staff in some offices to wear sweaters and jackets while others have windows open to cool their workspaces.

Lava Beds

At Lava Beds National Monument, the bulk of the $511,000 will be used to apply aggregate to the unpaved road from the park to the Medicine Lake Highlands. Other work includes replacing inefficient lighting fixtures in administration buildings, retrofitting water valve handles, and washing down and cleaning the interior of caves.

“These are good, simple, basic jobs that will help. It’s not wasted work,” said Dave Kruse, Lava Beds’ superintendent.

In addition, he said, other projects not funded by stimulus money are already scheduled. A new garage will be built this summer so heavy equipment and trucks can be kept indoors, a project costing about $600,000. In late July, all park roads and parking areas will be chip sealed at a cost of about $2 million.

<< previousnext >>