PHILIPSBURG, Mont., Sept. 4 -- The U.S. Department of Agriculture'sU.S. Forest Service unit - Beaverhead-Deerlodge National Forest - issued the following news release:
The Beaverhead-Deerlodge National Forest (BDNF) will no longer be staffing its visitor information office located in Deer Lodge after September 19. "Our declining federal budget has caused the Forest Service to evaluate present and future cost commitments within three major areas: fleet, facilities, and personnel. For this reason the BDNF has made a decision to no longer staff the office in Deer Lodge," said Pintler District Ranger Charlene Bucha. "Being able to provide services to our visitors is very important and we have come up with alternatives to continue to provide those services to our local communities and operate within our allocated budget."
One temporary employee currently staffs the Deer Lodge office whose appointment will expire on September 23, 2014. After this date the BDNF will not re-staff this position.
The BDNF has occupied the visitor services building at Grant-Kohrs National Historic Site under an interagency agreement (NHS) since 2006.
The Grant-Kohrs NHS visitor center will not be closing and will be providing services related to the historic ranch.
Forest maps are available at the remaining Forest Service Offices on the BDNF and also on line through http://www.nationalforeststore.com. Maps may also be downloaded to mobile devices through the Avenza PDF Maps App, which is available as a free download from iTunes and the Android Play Store. Forest Service visitor map downloads cost $4.99 each.
Additionally, an information bulletin board will continue to be located at Grant-Kohrs NHS and will provide basic forest information.
Firewood and Christmas tree permits are available for purchase at the I-90 Truck Auto Plaza in Deer Lodge, Fic's Conoco in Drummond and Hardware Hank in Anaconda.
Forest Service offices located in Butte, Philipsburg, Wise River, Wisdom, Dillon, Whitehall, Sheridan and Ennis are open M-F 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. to provide additional service and information. For more information contact the Pintler Ranger District in Philipsburg at (406) 859-3211.
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