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SERVICE MOVES BACK TO NATURE

 HADLEY, Mass., Feb. 8 /PRNewswire/ -- Black ducks and whitetail deer have a new neighbor in rural Massachusetts since the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's Northeast Regional Office moved into a new brick buildir?rounded by fields and trees. In mid-December, the Massachusetts office became the Service's first regional headquarters to relocate from a large city to a rural environment when 135 staffers began moving to Hadley.
 "Here in Western Massachusetts we are delighted that our staff can work in the kind of environment that the service is committed to protect," said the service's Northeast Regional Director Ronald E. Lambertson.
 For years, the 13-state region was served by a building in Newton Corner that overhung the Massachusetts Turnpike. The new headquarters sits in the resource-rich Connecticut River Valley at a geographic crossroads for the Northeast region. The move to Hadley not only brings the Service's fish and wildlife managers nearer their resources, it also strengthens a longtime partnership between the Service and the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. Four other universities enrich the Hadley area.
 The late Representative Silvio O. Conte of Massachusetts first championed the region's relocation, and his vision was carried out by Lambertson.
 "Without Sil Conte's commitment to the nation's fish and wildlife, and especially to the Connecticut River valley, it never could have transpired," Lambertson said.
 The 72,000-square-foot building will anchor a new 54-acre office park. Three floors provide working space for nearly 300 employees as well as wildlife exhibits. The General Services Administration negotiated a 20-year lease of the building from Amherst Development Partners of Agawam, Mass., representing a $19.8 million investment by the government.
 The service has a growing stake in the Connecticut River valley with an Atlantic salmon restoration program and the proposed Silvio O. Conte National Fish and Wildlife refuge along the river. The northeast region includes the states of Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Delaware, Virginia and West Virginia.
 -0- 2/8/93
 /CONTACT: Spence Conley of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 413-253-8325/


CO: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service ST: Massachusetts IN: SU:

TM -- NE015 -- 4208 02/08/93 15:16 EST
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Date:Feb 8, 1993
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