00:43:01 - 00:47:09 USDA
USDA, Forest Service, employment, opinions, government, national forest system, public opinion; Youngquist, John A.; Patzer, Robert
Okay. A couple quick questions about the USDA Forest Service: How do you feel about working for an agency that was part of the Forest Service?
You know I don't know that it really affected us too much; you know we were the Forest Products Lab, at least in the group that I was working on. I don't know if it made any difference, any real practical difference if we were part of the Forest Service or not. Other than I think that we did recognize, as I said, the mission of the Forest Products Lab was to extend the value of the nation's forest resource and so from that point of view I thought we were doing a good job. I do remember that at the time when we would take a, when we would go up north in Wisconsin---and at the time there was a, you know there was a lot of things going on and there was a lot of acrimony on a part of a fair number of people against the government you know the classic joke you know, I don't know the five or six whatever number of words it is that is the biggest joke there is, you know, I'm from the government and I'm here to help you [chuckles]. You know there was a lot of that sentiment that you know hay no you're from government, you're the enemy. And even I remember there was, my recollection is maybe you know maybe amplified by time, that, you know, there was some concern that if you'd be driving through some of the reservations up north then if you were driving in a Forest Service car that maybe that wasn't the wisest thing to do, you know that you'd be better off in an unmarked car rather than a Forest Service car because there were some, you know, acrimony towards Forest Service in that regard.
But in terms of, you know I don't, I think the only time that I ever really felt okay on part of the Forest Service was when---and a recognition that this is really part of a larger organization was, at least in our work unit, was when this powered backup roll that I mentioned turned out to be a very successful project. The team that brought that into being, you know my supervisor John Youngquist, myself, Bob Patzer, and John Hunt, although John declined the award for some personal reasons, we were given an award which was presented as an outstanding---I think it was superior service award, which was part of the Department of Agriculture and so we had a reception for us, the award was given in Washington and there was a reception there and met the head of the Forest Service and talked, you know. The award was actually given, I remember sitting there thinking, oh these people that are getting these awards are really heroes. Like there was one guy that had gone into a forest fire and pulled a family out or something like that and something---and so, I thinking, you know, these are people they're doing something that really warrants getting this big shot treatment. I'm not sure developing a machine was kind of up in the same category as you know going into a burning fire. You know these guys were forest, I don't know, forest rangers or something like that. So that was a connection there that I saw, but other than that there didn't seem to me at the time to be that much identification as FPL as being part of the Forest Service. We were kind of, I don't know, the culture was more kind of on its own or part from the Forest Service rather than a part of the Forest Service. But that might have been our work unit more than other work units, you know I think the guys who looked at the growing issue, you know bugs and trees and stuff, they probably were tied in closer to the people who worked out in the fields, in the forests. Not fields, the forest.