UPDATED: Fox Mangles Facts To Attack Nevada Stimulus Grant

A FoxNews.com article stated that a stimulus grant in Nevada of $490,000 created only 1.72 jobs, but according to the Nevada Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, only $213,682.77 of the stimulus grant money has been received. Additionally, FoxNews.com's own article explains that the money is helping to pay the salaries of individuals already employed by the Nevada Division of Forestry, as well as a variety of public-works projects.

FoxNews.com, Fox & Friends Claim $490,000 Created 1.72 Jobs In NV Project

FoxNews.com: “A Federal Stimulus Grant Of Nearly $500,000 To Grow Trees And Stimulate The Economy In Nevada Yielded A Whopping 1.72 Jobs.” From the FoxNews.com article:

A federal stimulus grant of nearly $500,000 to grow trees and stimulate the economy in Nevada yielded a whopping 1.72 jobs, according to government statistics.

In 2009, the U.S. Forest Service awarded $490,000 of stimulus money to Nevada's Clark County Urban Forestry Revitalization Project, aimed at revitalizing urban neighborhoods in the county with trees, plants, and green-industry training.

According to Recovery.gov, the U.S. government's official website related to Recovery Act spending, the project created 1.72 permanent jobs. In addition, the Nevada state Division of Forestry reported the federal grant generated one full-time temporary job and 11 short-term project-oriented jobs.

It also resulted in the planting of hundreds of trees -- which critics say is about the only good thing that came out of this stimulus project. [FoxNews.com, 8/22/11]

Fox & Friends: “One Point Seven Two. That's How Many Permanent Jobs Were Created From $490,000 In Stimulus Money Given To Clark County, Nevada.” From Fox & Friends:

JULIET HUDDY (guest co-host): Finally, one point seven two. That's how many permanent jobs were created from $490,000 in stimulus money given to Clark County, Nevada. We're talking about one job -- a little over one job. The money was supposed to revitalize neighborhoods by putting people to work planting trees, but, of course, it got caught up in the bureaucracy, and you know what happens. [Fox News, Fox & Friends, 8/23/11]

Drudge Report Picks Up FoxNews.com Article. From The Drudge Report:


Hoft Picks Up FoxNews.com Article. From Jim Hoft's blog Gateway Pundit:

Is this the hope or the change?
The government spent nearly $500,000 in Obama-Pelosi stimulus cash to create a whopping 1.72 jobs in Nevada. [Gateway Pundit, 8/23/11]

In Fact, NV Division Of Forestry Has Received Only $214,000 Of $490,000 Allocated

Nevada Division Of Forestry Division Has Received $213,682.77 Of The Grant. According to an email to Media Matters from Bob Conrad, public information officer for the Nevada Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, the “Nevada Division of Forestry has received $213,682.77 for the Clark County ARRA grant.”

Fox Article Buries The Truth: “The Project Isn't Done”

FoxNews.com Reported That Much Of Grant Hasn't Been Received Only In Third- And Fourth-To-Last Paragraphs Of Article. From the FoxNews.com article:

Conrad said that only 60 percent of the stimulus money has been used so far and of that amount, 90 to 95 percent of it is already allocated to salaries, sub grants, and other projects.

“The project isn't done,” said Conrad. [FoxNews.com, 8/22/11]

Stimulus Money Is Paying For Existing Jobs And A Variety Of Public-Works Projects

FoxNews.com: Funds Are Paying for “Tree Inventories, Salaries For Staff At The Nurseries Through The Nevada Division Of Forestry, Plant Material And Plant Supplies,” And “Spanish-Language Training For Hispanics In The Landscaping And Tree Care Industry.” The FoxNews.com article states:

A Nevada state official has a simple explanation for the low job growth.

“If the question is 'was this a job-creating project?' the answer is 'no, it wasn't,'” said Bob Conrad, public information officer for the Nevada Department of Conservation and Natural Resources. “It was one of a number of projects that we do believe helped improve natural resources in the state.”

Conrad said the $490,000 is being used for a number of projects. Those projects include tree inventories, salaries for staff at the nurseries through the Nevada Division of Forestry, plant material and plant supplies.

“The goal obviously was to make trees available to local government entities, parks, schools, things like that, at our state nursery,” said Conrad. “We basically grew and provided about 2,000 trees to these local entities.”

The grant also funds Spanish-language training for Hispanics in the landscaping and tree care industry to “develop employability skills and increase job retention.” [FoxNews.com, 8/22/11, emphasis added]

Economists Agree That The Stimulus Increased Employment

CBO: Stimulus Has Raised Employment By 1.2 To 3.3 Million. A May 2011 report by the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimated that as of the first quarter of 2011, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) lowered the unemployment rate “by between 0.6 percentage points and 1.8 percentage points,” compared to what would have happened in the absence of the stimulus. From the report:

CBO estimates that ARRA's policies had the following effects in the first quarter of calendar year 2011:

  • They raised real (inflation-adjusted) gross domestic product (GDP) by between 1.2 and 3.1 percent,
  • Lowered the unemployment rate by between 0.6 percentage points and 1.8 percentage points,
  • Increased the number of people employed by between 1.2 million and 3.3 million, and
  • Increased the number of full-time-equivalent jobs by 1.6 million to 4.6 million compared with what would have occurred otherwise (see Table 1). (Increases in FTE jobs include shifts from part-time to full-time work or overtime and are thus generally larger than increases in the number of employed workers). [Congressional Budget Office, May 2011]

Private Analysts Estimate That Stimulus Increased Employment By 2.4 To 2.5 Million. In its report, the CEA provided the following chart showing that private forecasters estimate that as of the first quarter of 2011, the stimulus increased employment between 2.4 and 2.5 million:


[White House Council of Economic Advisers, 7/1/11]

UPDATE: Nevada Natural Resources Office Explains Project's Goals And Outcomes

Nevada Department Of Conservation And Natural Resources: Project Created “2.37 Full-Time Equivalent Positions, One Part Time Position Plus Nearly 500 Contracted Labor Hours. From a document issued by the Nevada Department Of Conservation And Natural Resources about the project funded by the stimulus grant:

The Nevada Department of Conservation and Natural Resources clarified today recent reporting on stimulus fund projects in the Las Vegas area. News reports have cited low job creation and costs associated with the Clark County Urban Forestry Revitalization project. This program, carried out by the Nevada Division of Forestry, was one of a number of projects solicited by the federal government under the 2009 ARRA (American Recovery and Reinvestment Act).


Why does Clark County need 2,000 trees?

Many local governments have been hit hard by the economic recession, including urban forestry programs. The trees planted under this project are awarded to local parks, the Clark County School District and other local governments and tribes. It should be noted that trees grown at the Las Vegas Tree Nursery are specifically suited for Las Vegas' hot, dry and temperate climate, so these trees are grown specifically for southern Nevada. NDF has produced a guide to urban forestry in Las Vegas, which explains the many benefits of urban trees in southern Nevada.

The benefits of urban and community forests include:

  • Improved air quality
  • Energy savings
  • Reduced CO2
  • Reduced storm-water runoff
  • Social, economic and health benefits.


How many jobs did this project create?

The CCURP maintained 1.37 (one full time and one part time) positions at the Las Vegas State Tree Nursery that may have been eliminated or reduced due to decreased profits (the Nursery is self-funded). An additional full-time position was hired through ManPower Employment Services, a private workface business. The reason for the ManPower contract is that the State of Nevada is under a hiring freeze and this full time community forester position could only be hired under the arrangement with ManPower. Additional labor includes 480 hours to a subcontractor and $6,223 for an additional ManPower-contracted part-time forestry technician. This totals 2.37 full-time equivalent positions, one part time position plus nearly 500 contracted labor hours. [Nevada Department Of Conservation And Natural Resources, “Facts and Clarifications: Las Vegas Green Industry Stimulus Fund Projects,” 8/24/11; emphasis in original]