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History of the Forest Products Laboratory

Interview #992: Lulling, Robert M. (June, 2009)

View all of First Interview Session (October 15, 2008), disc 1

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01:39:44 - 01:43:16 Budgets

budgets, appropriations and expenditures, Forest Products Laboratory, U.S. Department of Agriculture (United States. Dept. of Agriculture), reputation; Hall, J. Alfred, personnel (size),

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One of the things that I think that [pause] the Lab was held back on because the appropriations were always a fight and always very low. We were in the forestry department but under the Department of Agriculture and that Department of Agriculture was very large and the Forest Service was on the low end of the totem pole. So we always got kind of cast off what was left and that's why our appropriations were never very large and our reputation didn't follow our senators around. Because we were the only lone agency, the other agencies, there were nine of us total, the other agencies throughout the states had senators that would get perks for them. We didn't. Never had a senator that could go to bat for us, we had our directors. Al Hall spent most of his time in Washington, D.C. fighting for the forest products and that was not right.

So I kind of made up my mind that the only way the Forest Products Laboratory is going to get in a position where they received a reputation that they have out in the industry and world wide and they can continue to do the kind of research that we were doing at one time---we're going to have to leave the Department of Agriculture somehow because these guys now, they're still fighting. We had our retiree's dinner here not too long ago and your director here today, I can't remember his name, he told us right out that they've gotten down to a 160 some employees and they are having a problem, even with that small of group, about getting money. So it still exists and it's too bad because this outfit here has got a bigger reputation in Europe than they have in the United States and we are not getting paid for it. But that's all I have, I've gone way beyond my hour or whatever it was.

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