BTNF will sell 10 acres of downtown Jackson land
To fund new administrative building on remaining 5 acres
by Bridger-Teton National Forest
September 23, 2008
(Jackson) Ė The Bridger-Teton National Forest expects to begin scoping on a proposed action to sell approximately ten acres of the 15-acre Jackson Administrative site located on North Cache Street in downtown Jackson, Wyoming in order to finance a new administrative building. Using the funds generated by this conveyance, the Forest would build new replacement facilities including a new combined Supervisorís and District Office and a small warehouse on the existing administrative site. Scoping is the public involvement process that is a requirement of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). The public will be asked to help the Forest identify potential impacts that should be evaluated in the Environmental Analysis (EA) for this project. The Forest will announce a scoping period, where written or e-mailed comments will be accepted.
Congress gave the Forest Service authority for conveyance and the use of funds from these sales in the Forest Service Facility Realignment and Enhancement Act of 2005. "The facilities at the Jackson administrative site are over 40 years old, outdated, costly to maintain, and do not meet some standard building codes such as accessibility," said Forest Supervisor Kniffy Hamilton.
Earlier this spring, Intermountain Regional Forester Harv Forsgren made the decision to keep the Supervisorís Office and the Jackson Ranger District Office in Jackson. An extensive analysis was completed with the help of the public and Bridger-Teton employees that showed that Jackson was the community most suited for the administrative hub of the Bridger-Teton. "We already had a tremendous amount of work put in by the various communities which helped the Regional Forester make the decision about the location of the office," said Hamilton. "I am looking forward to working with the public again as we embark on the next phase of this process for new facilities," she said.
Public Scoping is expected to start in the next few weeks. In addition to the administrative building proposal, the Forest will propose new Forest-employee housing, the construction of the main Forest warehouse, and relocation of the fire cache warehouse. The proposal will suggest these facilities be constructed on either the administrative site located on Nelson Drive in east Jackson, or the Cottonwood administrative site located off of Fall Creek Road just south of Hoback Junction.
The Forest expects that after scoping, the Environmental Assessment will be released for review in January 2009 and a decision made by late spring of 2009. "The public provided tremendous insight during the first part of this conveyance process in helping determine to keep the Supervisorís Office in the town of Jackson," Hamilton said. "The process is far from complete and everyoneís help is needed in addressing our housing situation and adequate facilities for the continued administration of this magnificent 3.4 million acre forest," she said.
For more information contact Mary Cernicek, Public Affairs, Bridger-Teton National Forest in Jackson, phone 307-739-5564.