Helena, Lewis & Clark national forests formally become one

The Helena and Lewis & Clark national forests in Montana have officially consolidated. The announcement comes after several years of combining positions and sharing resources across both forests, most notably in leadership with a shared supervisor and deputy supervisor. The public should notice little difference following the announcement and no offices will be closed or relocated, said Forest Supervisor Bill Avey.

Becoming one forest is only the latest in a long history of administrative changes, Avey said. The Lincoln Ranger District in the Helena National Forest was once part of the former Missoula National Forest. In the 1930s, the former Jefferson National Forest was consolidated into the Lewis & Clark. “So becoming the ‘Helena-Lewis & Clark National Forest’ is just another evolution, and one that we have been preparing for over the past couple of years,” he said.

Offices will be maintained in Helena with the supervisor, and in Great Falls with the deputy supervisor, Avey said.

“Right now we’re working on putting together the pieces of a draft plan where we’ll take a broad look at areas of the forest and begin to refine those,” said Erin Swiader, forest plan revision team leader.

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