BAKER CITY - The Whitman Unit is the new name given to the Baker, Unity, and Pine Ranger Districts of the Wallowa-Whitman National Forest, after a decision on Oct. 7 to combine administration of the three ranger districts under one district ranger located in Baker City. The announcement came on Dec. 10.

"The Wallowa-Whitman National Forest is using the term "unit" and not ranger district, because the organization decision was not to consolidate the south-end ranger districts," John Schuyler, deputy forest supervisor, explained. "The three ranger districts still exist on-the-ground and are now administered by the Whitman Unit."

This type of administrative structure is very similar to that of the three north end units (Eagle Cap and Wallowa Valley Ranger Districts, and the Hells Canyon National Recreation Area). They are managed by two district rangers located in the Wallowa Mountains office, in Enterprise.

Employees of the Whitman Unit will continue to staff the Pine, Unity, and Baker offices. The three offices will remain open to the public year-round without a reduction in services or hours of operation to the public.

"With a decision made on the name of the unit, we will be converting letterheads, signs, and other items to this new name," Schuyler said.

The Forest Service will soon be announcing who the new Whitman Unit district ranger will be. In the interim, Unity District Ranger Jean Lavell has been temporarily assigned the leader of this new unit.

For more information, contact Schuyler at 523-1203 or visit the Web site at www.fs.fed.us/r6/w-w.

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