Several U.S. Forest Service offices on the Okanogan-Wenatchee N.F. will be closed on Wednesday, June 5, when most of the employees who work on the 4-million-acre national forest will attend a meeting.
Offices that will be closed include ranger stations in Naches, Cle Elum, Leavenworth, Entiat, Chelan and Tonasket. The Methow Valley Ranger Station in Winthrop and the Okanogan Valley Office in Okanogan will remain open.
The Okanogan-Wenatchee N.F. headquarters at 215 Melody Lane in Wenatchee will also be closed. However, employees with other government agencies with offices in the building will be available to provide assistance to the public for issues unrelated to the U.S. Forest Service. These agencies include the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Cascadia Conservation District, USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service and USDA Farm Service Agency.
Entrances to the headquarters building will be closed and the front desk will not be staffed. Members of the public who come to the building on Wednesday, June 5, can telephone employees with these agencies using numbers posted on entrances. Employees will then escort them into the building.
More than 200 Okanogan-Wenatchee N.F. employees are expected to attend the meeting at a Chelan County Fairgrounds facility. The last time employees held a similar meeting was in 2011.
The Okanogan-Wenatchee N.F. is the largest national forest in the Pacific Northwest, stretching 180 miles from the Canadian border south to the Goat Rocks Wilderness Area. It has the largest trail system in the national forest system and more than 8,000 miles of roads.
Its employees work at Forest Service facilities spread across Central Washington including the Fort Simcoe and Columbia Basin Job Corps Centers, Moses Lake Air Tanker Base, North Cascades Smokejumper Base, Wenatchee Valley Rappeller Base, Central Washington Interagency Communications Center and seven ranger stations.
The meeting is intended as a rare opportunity for Okanogan-Wenatchee N.F. employees to assemble and discuss issues relevant to the agency and the national forest.