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Trail group’s plans to locate in CL on hold

By SUE RYAN

News staff writer

December 27, 2006

Plans by the Pacific Crest Trail Association to locate a first-time regional office for Oregon and Washington in Cascade Locks have been put on hold.

Executive Director Liz Bergeron said Wednesday that because part of the funding came from the U.S. Forest Service, the recent vote by Congress stymied it.

“The idea is still viable but with the continuing resolution it means there isn’t funding for either the position or the office at this point,” she said.

Bergeron added that the current PCT project manager position within the U.S. Forest Service itself is also vacant. That position is located out of the agency’s Pacific Southwest Region office in Vallejo, Calif.

Under the continuing resolution, the government has enough spending authority to keep the government operating through mid-February. Some government agencies are not filling vacancies as a way to deal with the situation. But that is not the case for the agency’s position in California, according to Mike Mathes, Forest Service regional spokesman.

“We have been acting to find another replacement, but we just didn’t leave the position vacant,” Mathes said. “We even have a detailer in there now on a part-time basis.”

He said the position within the agency is a longtime slot that isn’t affected by the current budget situation. Mathes said some of the latest projects by the agency for the trail include a brand-new line of maps on the Pacific Crest Trail.

Bergeron said it’s unlikely the Cascade Locks office and position will go forward until the budget issue is resolved.

The organization held a board meeting in Stevenson, Wash., this summer. Port of Cascade Locks Director Chuck Daughtry and port commissioners gave the board a tour of office space in the town, including some in the port’s main office building.

The association had advertised until Dec. 8 for a regional representative that would work with agency partners and volunteer organizations to protect and enhance the trail. The intent was also to have that person spend time outdoors and on the trail. They had sought someone with a background in natural resources or recreation with skills in trail design, construction and maintenance.

The Pacific Crest Trail crosses through the middle of Cascade Locks as part of its 2,650 mile path from Mexico to Canada through California, Oregon and Washington.

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