The Sanpete Ranger District of the Manti-LaSal National Forest will soon have a new office and warehousing complex on the north side of Ephraim that will provide better public access as well as a more efficient operation, according to Ranger Tom Shore.

The Forest Service has purchased a 5.62-acre tract from Snow College on which the office building and the warehousing facility will be constructed.The land is a part of the Snow Field Station acreage, which is involved in turkey research but is not required in the station's on-going studies, said Robert Warnick, field station director.

The purchased tract has its frontage on U.S. 89 at Ephraim's north entrance.

"The new facility should be more user-friendly in a number of ways," Shore said. "It will definitely increase the walk-in traffic off the street. It should be easier for people to park and transact business or obtain information."

The ranger district currently rents office space at 150 S. Main in Ephraim and warehouses equipment and materials at various other locations. "The consolidation of our operations at one location will certainly improve our efficiency level," Shore said.

The Sanpete Ranger District administers Forest Service land on the west side of Manti Mountain between Thistle on the north and Salina Canyon on the south. It also administers some Forest Service land in the Sanpitch Mountains on the west side of the Sanpete Valley.

The primary activities on the district are grazing, lumbering and recreation. It is one of two ranger districts on the Manti portion of the Manti-LaSal National Forest.

The transaction required the approval of the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture, the Utah Board of Regents and the Snow College Institutional Council.