PUBLIC LANDS — Federal resource acengies are suffering big budget hits, as I pointed out on my Sunday Outdoors story.
Here's a spotlight on the issues, using an example close to home:
ALARMING NUMBERS FROM THE COLVILLE NF
The 1.1 million-acre Colville National Forest spans 3 counties in Washington. This year its overall operating budget is about $16 million, employing about 150 permanent staff and 100 temporary workers. Forest officials round out the figures with these trends:
• 62 percent decrease in employees since the early 1990s.
• 5 percent reduction in overall budget in each
of past four years.
• 46 percent decrease in road maintenance contracting
budget in the past two years.
• 64 percent reduction in the already meager recreation budget expected in the next year.