Kootenai National Forest Proposes Consolidation of Ranger Districts

By Beacon Staff

The Kootenai National Forest is considering formally consolidating the Rexford and Fortine Ranger Districts and is seeking public input regarding that proposal. After considering public and employee comments a proposal will be drafted for regional forester concurrence and then sent to the chief’s office for final approval.

Consolidation would combine the two districts into one and could result in a change in the office locations, although the intent is to continue to provide some level of public services to both communities, according to the U.S. Forest Service.

Currently the Rexford Ranger District has an office compound in Eureka and the Fortine Ranger District has an office compound at Murphy Lake, south of Fortine.

Since 2008, the districts have been moving towards one personnel organization in response to budget reductions. That organization has been reached through attrition. The consolidation is not expected to result in further loss of positions, according to the USFS.

Input will be most helpful if provided by Dec. 31. Questions regarding the potential consolidation can be directed to Betty Holder at 406-882-4451 or 406-296-2536. Holder is also available to meet regarding the proposal. An appointment can be scheduled with her by calling the same phone numbers. Written comments can be submitted to: Forest Service, ATTN: Betty Holder, P.O. Box 116, Fortine, MT 59918.

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