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For the week of Mar. 1 through Mar. 7, 2000

SNRA budget could be cut

Express Staff Writer

The Sawtooth National Recreation Area will likely experience a 15 percent budget cut for the current fiscal year, Sawtooth National Recreation Area (SNRA) area ranger Deb DesLaurier said Thursday morning at a press conference.

The SNRA operates on an October through September fiscal year, but DesLaurier explained that budgets aren’t usually finalized until late winter.

Though the final numbers aren’t yet in, management speculation concluded that last year’s $2.2 million budget could be reduced to $1.9 million, DesLaurier said.

The numbers came from a Forest Service management meeting in Shoshone on Jan. 26, and a final tally will arrive in early April, DesLaurier said. DesLaurier stressed that she is only speculating at this point.

"I will be extremely surprised if we match the 1999 numbers," DesLaurier said. "Our budgets have gone down drastically over the years, to the point where the number of permanent full-time employees is roughly half of what it was when the SNRA was established."

Cuts will probably be made in the timber, recreation, inland fisheries and range management departments.

"We’re keeping our fingers crossed like you won’t believe that some projects like the SNRA license plates come through," she said.


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