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Century-Old Ranger Station Closes In Central Oregon

Friday is the last day visitors to the Ochoco National Forest will be able to pick up a map at the Rager Ranger Station.   That remote outpost is being shuttered more than 100 years after its establishment.

Long gone is the original cabin built by one of the forest’s first district rangers back in 1908.  Today, the ranger station consists of a series of buildings about 70 miles east of Prineville.

Rager was the Forest Service’s most remote year-round ranger station.  And perhaps not surprisingly, the decision to close it came down to cost. 

Ochoco National Forest spokeswoman Tory Kurtz says says the station is in need of $500,000 in deferred maintenance.  And she says that kind of money just isn’t there.

“It’s a tough decision by all means, but certainly one that made sense as far as budgets go,” says Kurtz.

The station’s four employees will now work out of offices in Prineville.  The Forest Service is also in talks with a store in Paulina - just south of the closed station - about taking on its map and firewood permit sales.

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