Agency to stay in Aspen
The top U.S. Forest Service official in Colorado vowed that the agency will retain a big presence in Aspen, even though a consolidation of districts is pushing many operations downvalley.Regional Forester Rick Cables said the Forest Service won’t sell its site at Seventh and Hallam streets in Aspen because it could never afford to buy another site in town.
“We’re trying, with our capital investment process, to figure out a way to get some funding because the facility itself needs to be replaced,” Cables said. A new facility will include offices for the district ranger and other key personnel as well as a visitors’ center, he said.”I really think that one of the strengths of this agency over the years has been being in communities. Because Pitkin County is centered in Aspen, if our ranger wasn’t in Aspen I think we’d lose a lot,” Cables said.
The Forest Service consolidated the Aspen and Sopris Ranger districts last year. The Sopris District has headquarters in Carbondale.Most of the Forest Service staff will be located downvalley, which requires less travel from their homes and often less travel to field jobs. The agency is still assessing if it will keep its facility in Carbondale or relocate to a new facility in El Jebel.by Scott Condon
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