CASE Construction Equipment and Central Machinery provided equipment and product/training support to veteran-led disaster response organization Team Rubicon for use in training 10 new participants in its heavy equipment training program at Turnbull National Wildlife Refuge in Washington State. The training included critical project work removing man-made islands in low-lying wetland areas to improve the habitat for birds and waterfowl.

“We’re tearing down these islands and smoothing it out to return these wetlands to the way Mother Nature intended them to be,” says Steve Fox, engineering equipment operator, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service. “It opens up the water and creates more of a natural habitat. Team Rubicon has been great. This is something that’s going to take us a few years to complete – they’ve helped us get farther along than we would be – it offers them a training area, and we’re getting good work done on the refuge.”

Team Rubicon used the exercise to train its members in the safe use and maintenance of heavy equipment for its disaster response operations. Central Machinery provided CASE CX130D and C210C heavy excavators, along with an SV280 skid steer, for the training and project work.

The partnership between CASE, Team Rubicon and the National Wildlife Refuge Association dates back to November 2015 when the three organizations began working together to complete training and project work. Other refuge training projects have been completed in Texas, California and Massachusetts, with additional training taking place at sites throughout the country. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service hopes that about 100 Team Rubicon members will be available to refuges for heavy equipment work and hundreds more available as volunteers for service projects across the country.

“The Pacific Northwest takes its sustainability and preservation of natural ecosystems seriously, and the work performed by Team Rubicon here will help improve these natural habitats for years to come,” says Scott Harris, vice president – North America, CASE Construction Equipment. “Central Machinery – tied in to both the construction and agricultural industries – has always taken stewardship of the land seriously. We’re all proud to have participated.”