News.bytesNews.bytes Extra, issue 205

BLM and U.S. Forest Service dedicate shared fire stations

About 100 community members and employees attended the dedication of the new Mono Basin Fire Station, seven miles north of Lee Vining, California. BLM funded construction of the new fire station to share with Inyo National Forest, as part of integrated wildfire program management in eastern Sierra.

The Sept. 27 gathering also symbolically dedicated the new Topaz Fire Station, five miles north of Topaz, California. BLM California also built and funded Topaz Station, to share with Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest as part of a similar program of integrated wildfire management.

The new stations will help both agencies better protect communities and natural resources, by improving their firefighting capabilities. The stations are the result of a long and complex planning and construction process that now provides fire employees with better tools to do their important jobs -- and provides quality employee housing in a region where affordable private housing is scarce.

Speakers noted that the sharing of resources between agencies that will provide better public service. The dedication event celebrated "successful integration of interagency fire program between USFS and BLM that provides efficient fire management program in eastern Sierra."

U.S. Marine Corps personnel from nearby USMC Mountain Warfare Training Center started the ceremony with a ceremonial flag raising. The new commander of the training center, Col. Tim Wells also attended:
U.S. Marine Corps personnel from nearby USMC Mountain Warfare Training Center started the ceremony with a ceremonial flag raising.

BLM Bishop Field Manger Bill Dunkelberger was Master of Ceremonies for the dedication, and introduced special guest speakers: BLM California State Director Mike Pool; Inyo National Forest Supervisor Jeff Bailey; Brent Handley, Acting Forest Service Deputy Regional Forest for California and Ed Monnig, Acting Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest Supervisor.

Mike Pool and Bill Dunkelberger presented awards to BLM employees Tom Meagher and Gary Cardoza, for their outstanding coordination of the planning and construction of the new fire facilities over a three-year period:
Mike Pool and Bill Dunkelberger presente award to BLM employee Gary Cardoza

The ceremony concluded with the fire employees stationed at the new facilities cutting a ceremonial ribbon to a round of applause and cheers.

BLM California State Director Mike Pool cuts a cake to celebrate the joint fire station venture, as ___ looks on:

BLM and U.S. Forest Service firefighting trucks lined up outside the new shared building:

News.bytes, issue 205

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