00:24:07 - 00:28:30 Forest Service
Forest Service, impression, USDA, opinion, perceptions, politics, changes, national forest
I guess moving on, how did you feel about working for an agency that's part of the USDA Forest Service? Did you have any particular perceptions of the Forest Service when you started working?
Well, a little bit, not a lot. I had worked in Colorado for the National Park Service and we had a Forest Service advisor that came and helped our unit. So I knew that they were pretty well respected, that they knew their forests and their jobs well. There wasn't much nonsense involved, particularly with this guy. When I got to the Lab my boss used to call it a Gung-ho organization and I think there is a little bit of both good and maybe not so good involved on that in that he thought they were go-getters for the work, but they were also---they would rush out on every political topic that would come up. They had---especially the research part of the Forest Service---would tend to jump from one thing to another.
Did you feel like that effected your work at all?
Yeah it did some. I would get a little bit irritated when we would have to drop things and start something else that was a little more politically expedient, but it wasn't a serious matter. Overall we were given quite a bit of leeway.
Were these just topics that were popular nationally or within industry that you had to move on to? Or was it politically influenced specifically?
Well the ones I'm talking about were politically influenced but they were topics of national interest. For example, I mentioned earlier the alcohol, environmental concerns were very common then, they carried through most of the time, and then the recycling efforts.
So did your impressions of the Forest Service change during your period working at the Lab?
Not a lot, I'm still pretty proud of them and I was all the time. I sort of appreciated the work that they do out in the field, which I didn't have too much contact with---we would have a few field trips on occasion that we would get out and learn a little bit about other parts of the Forest Service.
Oh, could you give me some examples of what those were?
I remember one to northern Wisconsin. We took a two or three day trip through the two national forests there learning about what they did and I guess just seeing the forests, seeing the areas.