RICHMOND, Va. (CBSDC/AP) — The Virginia Department of Forestry says it’s restructuring its operations to serve the public with fewer dollars and employees.

The department is consolidating county offices into multi-county operations under a reorganization plan that went into effect last week. It also plans to use mobile technology that will allow employees to assist landowners in the field.

State forester Carl Garrison says in a news release that the agency’s single-county service model is no longer sustainable due to worldwide economic conditions.

Teams of five to eight employees will be assigned to service areas comprised of three to seven counties.

Deputy State Forester Rob Farrell says the changes will improve coverage and service in each jurisdiction.

The Virginia Department Forestry employees are currently spread across 40 separate groups and departments, all headed by State Forester Carlo Garrison.

(TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)


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