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USFS Officials Recommend Against Forest Merger

Trevor T. Trujillo, Townsquare Media

JACKSON, Wyo. (AP) — U.S. Forest Service officials are recommending against merging the management of the Bridger-Teton National Forest in northwestern Wyoming and the Caribou-Targhee National Forest in southeastern Idaho.

Agency officials said Tuesday that acting Regional Forester Marlene Finley concurred with the recommendation from the supervisors of both forests who said consolidation wasn’t in the public’s best interests.

Former Regional Forester Harv Forsgren last year had asked the forest supervisors to examine whether consolidation could reduce fixed costs.

Bridger-Teton spokeswoman Mary Cernicek said Tuesday that agency officials didn’t see enough cost savings to warrant a merger. They also found that consolidation would hurt the services the forests offer the public.

Both forests had already been examining workforce realignments. Cernicek says the forests will go ahead with implementing those plans.

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