Forest Service moving to new digs |

Forest Service moving to new digs

Gregory Crofton, Tahoe Daily Tribune

The offices of the U.S. Forest Service Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit will be closed for five business days this month so staff has time to move into its new building.

The agency will shut down at 4 p.m. on May 13 so employees can relocate to College Drive off Al Tahoe Boulevard. The Forest Service office will reopen May 21. The agency’s phone lines, also to be shut off May 13, are scheduled to come back online by May 19.

“We’re trying to minimize the impact on the public,” said Rex Norman, Forest Service spokesman. “With walk-in business and phone service — we’re doing our best to keep that interruption as short as possible.”

The new Forest Service building sits on the far reaches of the Lake Tahoe Community College campus. At 25,000 square feet, it is much larger than the agency’s old building, a converted motel on Emerald Bay Road. Its 136-space parking lot has improved parking for employees and the public.

“The most important thing about the new facility is that it will provide a whole lot better community and customer service,” Norman said. “It will be easier for the public to find and access and also we’ll be working to develop a lot of partnerships with the community college that will benefit us and students at the college.”

Construction of the $5.3 million building began a year ago. It has five conference rooms and a vaulted, glass reception area. The building will not remain its whitish color. Once the weather warms up the agency will paint or stain the building an earth tone.

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An open house to celebrate the project is scheduled June 19. Its completion comes during the 30th anniversary year of the establishment of the Forest Service Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit.

— Gregory Crofton can be reached at (530) 542-8045 or by e-mail at