Pahranagat National Wildlife Refuge, under the U.S. Department of Fish and Wildlife, is having a Grand Opening ceremony and dedication of the new visitors center Jan. 24 at the Refuge beginning at 10 a.m.
At 11 a.m. will be the premier of a new film “Pahranagat National Wildlife Refuge,” and at Noon, live birds of prey will be presented by Martin Tyner of the Southwest Wildlife Foundation in Scottsdale, Ariz.
Other events from 10:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. include chuckwagon stew, crafts for kids, solar viewing with the Las Vegas Astronomical Society, a photo booth at the historic petroglyph cabin and water color painting by artist/photographer Sharon Schafer.
Acting Refuge manager Amy LaVoie said the new center was made possible with a SNPLMA grant, funds generated from the sale of public lands. “The purpose of the new center,” she said is “to provide an opportunity to interpret the Refuge and the valley and get people excited about visiting other places on the Refuge.”
The visitors center is about 5,000 square feet, including the Refuge administrative headquarters offices that will move into the new facility. “There are also exhibits along a short trail,” LaVoie said.
“Inside the center,” she explained, “is information about the refuge, different educational exhibits inside and outside, a theatre to show the new 8-minute refuge film, and meeting space.”
LaVoie said “We are excited to show off new technology that displays the great things to do at the Refuge and then get people interested in coming back for another visit, to walk on a trail, or view some wildlife. We’re hoping it will bring people off the highway and from the local community who will want to spend a day or two in Lincoln County.”
Also attending are expected to be Polly Wheeler, Chief of Refuges in the Pacific Northwest from the Sacramento, Calif. office, and some of her staff, as well as former County Commission chairman Ed Higbee, and representatives from NUWUVI, six Southern Paiute tribes in the southwest. “There are a lot of Paiute themes in the visitor’s center and the trail area,” LaVoie said. “They have been helping us a lot.”
After the grand opening, the visitors center will be open at no charge Thursday through Monday 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., closed Tuesday and Wednesday.