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CASPER, Wyo. -- Many Wyoming officials say they're concerned about the prospect of combining management of the Bridger-Teton National Forest in northwestern Wyoming with the Caribou-Targhee National Forest in southeastern Idaho.

The regional office of the U.S. Forest Service recently directed both forests to study whether merging the two sprawling forests could cut costs.

The Casper Star-Tribune reports that the new forest would be the second-largest in the Lower 48 at slightly more than 6 million acres.

Critics say it would be difficult to manage such a massive forest. Republican U.S. Rep. Cynthia Lummis of Wyoming says she believes trying to administer a combined forest across state lines is a bad idea.

Teton County Commissioner Hank Phibbs says a merger would be a management disaster.

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