North Idaho

Forest Service head makes consolidation official

GRANGEVILLE, Idaho -  The U.S. Forest Service has decided to consolidate two national forests into one and moving the supervisor's office to a new office in Kamiah.

U.S. Forest Service chief Tom Tidwell announced the decision Monday to combine the Nez Perce and Clearwater national forests.

The Lewiston Tribune reports that the goal is to save money and resources. The agency began working toward consolidation in 2008 with the intent of saving $2 million annually by combining administrative positions.

Forest Supervisor Rick Brazell says the agency will keep a presence in Orofino and Grangeville -- cities where the two separate forests had supervisor offices.

Grangeville Mayor Bruce Walker says he's disappointed and was hoping the agency would give more time to a separate plan to keep administrative staff in town.