Forest staff will stay at Industrial Way building through the start of next year before moving to Mt. Hood National Forest headquarters in Sandy

PMG PHOTO: EMILY LINDSTRAND - A sign welcomes visitors to the Clackamas River Ranger District office in Estacada. In early 2020, district staff will relocate to Sandy.

Employees of the Clackamas River Ranger District will be based in Sandy beginning next year.

Rather than continuing to occupy the building at 595 N.W. Industrial Way in Estacada under a renewed lease, Clackamas River Ranger District employees will join the Mt. Hood National Forest Headquarters staff at 16400 Champion Way in Sandy.

Combining the offices was a joint decision by staff at the Mt. Hood National Forest and the General Service Administration, the federal government's leasing agent.

Laura Pramuk, Mt. Hood National Forest public affairs officer, noted that both the Clackamas River Ranger District and the Forest Headquarters buildings are under occupied.

"We used to have a bigger workforce," Pramuk noted. "We want to be responsible stewards of taxpayer funds and not pay to lease two buildings that are bigger than what we need."

The building on Champion Way will be remodeled later this year, and although both the National Forest headquarters and the ranger district will occupy the space, they will each have separate offices.

"(Each) will still have its own identity, and its own staff," Pramuk said.

During the remodel, which will begin in May, current employees of the Champion Way building will work from offices in the Clackamas River and ZigZag Ranger districts, or telecommute.

The Clackamas River Ranger District employs 30 full-time employees and approximately 20-30 seasonal employees. District staff members work in administration, biology, fisheries, timber, visitor information services, fire prevention and law enforcement.

At the district office, visitors to the forest can purchase maps and permits and obtain all manner of forest-related information.

Located southwest of Mount Hood, the Clackamas district spans approximately 400,000 acres.

Leaders in the district plan to maintain a presence in the Estacada area, though they are still determining what that will look like.

"We feel it's important to maintain some kind of presence along Highway 224," said Pramuk, noting that forest staff are "exploring what kind of services and products are important to people, what needs to be available and what the opportunities are to provide that."

Pramuk added that forest service staff have spent several years exploring options for relocation.

"We searched throughout Estacada and Sandy to try to find space to accommodate the forest headquarters office and the Clackamas River Ranger District Office," Pramuk said. "We will do everything we can to help the public and local community through the transition."

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