A wilderness rates one official boss

  A wilderness once run by six national forests will get its own supervisor, budget and district managers - just like a national forest. By centralizing management of Idaho's 2.3 million acre Frank Church-River of No Return Wilderness, the Forest Service hopes to save on costs and improve services, says John Twiss, the agency's national leader for wilderness management. Officials in Montana are considering a similar structure for the 950,000-acre Bob Marshall Wilderness Complex in Montana, currently divided among four national forests. When Forest Service Chief Jack Ward Thomas announced his decision to centralize The Frank's management, he also said he wanted to nearly double the $28 million national wilderness budget, reports the Idaho Falls Post Register. Twiss says that wilderness only gets one half of 1 percent of the agency's budget, although it makes up 18 percent of the national forest land base.

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