Cadillac/Manistee Ranger Station Moving to Former Chittenden Nursery in Wellston

The U.S. Forest Service is moving ahead with plans to relocate the office of the Cadillac/Manistee District Ranger Station from Manistee to the former Chittenden Nursery in Wellston.

The ranger station is currently located in a leased facility at the south end of Manistee.

That lease will soon expire, and even though the buildings at the nursery have not been fully used for more than a decade, officials say locating the district office there makes a lot of sense from the standpoint of having employees close to where they work.

They also say the move is expected to reduce the mileage put on government vehicles each year.

The Forest Service first opened the nursery in 1934 to provide tree seedlings to the crews of the Civilian Conservation Corps who were planting millions of trees across Michigan to regrow forests that had been decimated by logging and wildfires in the prior century.

At one time, the Chittenden Nursery was the most productive tree nursery in the world.

The nursery operated until the 1970s when the need for new seedlings declined.

For a number of years thereafter, the buildings were used by the Manistee Independent School District.

Now the Forest Service plans to repurpose the buildings that once housed the nursery operations.

Renovations at the nursery have begun and some buildings have already been completed.

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