District office set to move to downtown Baker City

By Observer staff December 04, 2013 09:51 am

BAKER CITY — The Whitman Ranger District, of the U.S. Forest Service, will be moving this weekend to a remodeled building downtown. The district will open at its new location on Dec. 11.

The district office, currently located at 3285 11th St., will be moving to the David J. Wheeler Federal Building at 1550 Dewey Ave.

Moving activities will begin on Friday and continue throughout the weekend, reducing the number of days the office will be closed for business. The office will be closed Dec. 9 and Dec. 10, to re-open for business in the new office on Dec. 11. The parking spaces, excluding the handicap accessible, located at the north end of the Federal Building will be blocked off and utilized by the movers Friday and Saturday.

“The district is committed to minimizing the impact this move will have on the public,” said Darcy Weseman, district support services supervisor.“We will have maps and Christmas tree permits available during the closure from our vending machine, which will be located in front of the Federal Building.”

The Federal Building currently houses the Wallowa-Whitman National Forest Headquarters and the U.S. Post Office. The Whitman Ranger District, consisting of approximately 50 employees, will join these two agencies and occupy part of the first floor and the second floor. The district will provide visitor information services for both the Forest Headquarters and the district office.

The relocation of the Whitman Ranger District to the David Wheeler Federal building stemmed from an effort to reduce the federal government’s facility costs. Once the district moves, the number of U.S. Forest Service employees occupying the Federal Building will nearly double. The district move to the co-agency office will mark the closure of a seven year project and a permanent home for the district employees in Baker City. The Whitman Ranger District also maintains an office in Halfway and a work center in Unity.

The Bureau of Land Management will remain at the 11th St. address and will not be impacted by the district move and associated closures.

For more information, please contact the Whitman Ranger District main number, (541) 523-6391, or Darcy Weseman (541) 523-1302. The Forest Headquarters and the Whitman Ranger District share the same main phone number, and this will stay the same after the move.