The Nez Perce National Forest staff will be cut by eight employees as part of a $3.6 million reduction in this year’s forest budget.
Employees were notified of the cutbacks Wednesday by Forest Supervisor Coy Jemmett. He said another 15 to 20 positions may be affected in the coming year.
“The forest is in a very tough spot, and the budget picture for fiscal year 1997 doesn’t look much better,” Jemmett said.
It is hoped they can be placed in other forest positions, he said.
Forest officials anticipated a budget decrease of 25 percent between fiscal years 1995 and 1998. But Jemmett said that was optimistic.
In reality, the forest dropped from a total allocation of $19.5 million in fiscal year 1995 to an estimated budget of $15.9 million this year, a decrease of nearly 20 percent.
The cutbacks are the result of a decline in the timber program, as well as less-than-expected funding for other work.
Clearwater National Forest employees are not facing the same job loss possibilities. Forest spokesman John Coil said there are some budget reductions in the works, but no layoffs planned.