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Copyright © 2002 Express Publishing Inc.
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For the week of June 12 - 18, 2002


Sawtooth Forestís budget is holding an even keel

Express Staff Writer

The Sawtooth National Forest is holding an even keel compared with last yearís federal budget appropriations, at about $14 million for the current fiscal year.

But that number doesnít take into consideration the regular inflation of doing business each year, Sawtooth Spokesman Ed Waldapfel said.

Budgets were made official April 30.

"Youíre actually looking at some increases at the Sawtooth National Forest as appropriated by congress," he said. "But the cost of doing business goes up."

The Sawtooth National Forestís budget was $14 million last year and is $13.8 million this year, according to a budget summary. The Sawtooth National Recreation Areaís budget dipped slightly from $2.7 million to $2.6 million, and the Ketchum Ranger District dipped from $1.9 million to $1.87 million.

On May 1, SNRA Ranger Deb Cooper predicted a $1.8 million deficit this year compared to last year, but Waldapfel said she had been working off a preliminary budget.

Waldapfel said that, both at the national and regional levels, forest managers are looking for ways to better fund national recreation areas.

"These are areas where we want to showcase management," Waldapfel said.

Cooper was not immediately available for comment.


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