DEBATE OF '98- role of government and leaders

Don Baccus dhogaza at
Sun Apr 19 13:15:16 EST 1998

In article <01bd6bae$254c97a0$193d19d0 at laptop>,
Larry Harrell <fotoware at> wrote:

>Yes and no. I am the "self-appointed" representative of the USFS
>temporaries. My pet peeve is that the FS is practicing "Federal McForestry"
>by keeping a revolving door on the crucial field-going forestry tech

I think you should broaden this criticism, as the same is true of field-going
biology technicians.  It's also true of higher positions in biology.  One
friend of mine worked for four years as one of two full-time biologists
in the Columbia District of the Mt. Hood National Forest.  Among other
things, this is a spotted owl forest so there was a very high work load,
much more than two biologists and seasonal field bio techs could accomplish.
You'd think the FS would do all it could, then, to ensure that the two
positions were filled by folks committed to a long-term career within the
Service.  Not so, her positions was as full-time temporary for four years.
These positions are only supposed to last six months with a limit to
the number of allowable renewals before they supposedly must bring the 
person on as a permanent employee or hire someone else.  Ignored, in her
case (and many others).  The difference for those of you unfamiliar with
the USFS is that as a temporary she got no benefits, medical benefits
being the one of most concern to her.

She left for a state ODF&W position when it became clear that she'd never
be taken on as a permanent employee.

This was typical of "The Hood", at the time, i.e. most of the full-time
bios at the district level had temporary status.

>The FS has removed ALL incentive to excel and the skilled,
>talented and dedicated temps are leaving the FS just to survive.


>Can you work just 6 months of every year with no benefits?

I'm surprised your bosses haven't figured out how to work around the
supposed 6 month limit, though, the Mt. Hood NF had no problem giving
my friend 12 months of work for four years straight despite the supposed
6 month limit.

>These temps who have 10
>or more years of experience in timber marking, resource protection, sale
>administration, archeology, botany, wildlife biology, fire management and
>any of the other departments that help take care of our National Forests,
>have been ABUSED by the FS.

OK, now I see you are painting with a broad brush, so take my above comments
as being simply additional data in support of your POV.

- Don Baccus, Portland OR <dhogaza at>
  Nature photos, on-line guides, at

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