PLUMAS RURAL SERVICES INVITED TO WHITE HOUSE
Plumas Rural Services’ (PRS) Executive Director, Michele Piller, has been invited to the White House to participate in a Forum on Regional Innovation in Rural America held on June 13, 2012. PRS’ efforts to promote regional economic development strategies prompted the USDA to invite Ms. Piller to Washington to share the agency’s experiences both with the Obama Administration and peers across the country as well as to discuss how the federal government can continue to support innovative regional strategies in the communities served by PRS.
Following a short introductory presentation by White House and USDA Rural Development staff, the forum will allow participants to share best practices and to discuss the challenges rural communities are working to address. An afternoon peer exchange session will focus on a few particular topics and expand upon some of the issues raised. Participants will also have a chance to meet USDA program staff who will provide insight into federal infrastructure programs.
“I am thrilled that our regional effort has been selected for national recognition,” says Piller. “I am convinced that the work we are doing now will have a significant positive impact not only on the counties directly affected by the Loyalton Plant operations, but for the entire Sierra Nevada region. It will be a model for small communities who have struggled since the decline in the timber industry to develop new, long-term economic opportunities for their residents by creating a green energy sector that helps meet the need for fuel management on our forested lands.”
PRS has been honored with this invitation as a result of the work it has done over the past several years to develop sustainable business endeavors in the region which will provide long-term, reliable jobs while utilizing the renewable natural resources and character of the region. PRS’ efforts to revitalize the Loyalton Power Plant are of particular interest to USDA Rural Development, as it is a project that is replicable in many frontier rural communities and provides a host of economic, environmental, health and community benefits.
The Loyalton Power Plant revitalization project is a focal point for the Plumas Energy Alliance (a local group aiming to support the production, development and use of green energy) and the regional Biomass Economic Recovery Group of the Northern Sierra (a regional body working towards increasing economic stability and sustainability through projects related to the region’s abundant supply of excess woody biomass). PRS intends to purchase the Loyalton Power Plant and the adjacent industrial park, which it hopes to develop into a green business park.
PRS is a regional not-for-profit organization which provides a wide range of community and social services. It operates in Plumas, Sierra, Lassen and Modoc Counties. The agency’s primary services range from crisis intervention, child care resources, and WIC to community resource centers, regional food security programs and a time-bank network. PRS also runs the public transportation in Plumas County, Plumas Transit Systems.
More information about Plumas Rural Services and the services and resources it offers to the community can be found on the PRS website (www.plumasruralservices.org) or by calling 283-3611 or 1-800-284-3340.