DEBATE OF '98- role of government and leaders

Joseph Zorzin redoak at
Mon Apr 20 08:21:57 EST 1998

Larry Harrell wrote:
> Joseph Zorzin <redoak at> wrote in article
> <353A1135.F49C30B3 at>...
> > Are government forestry agencies doing a good job?
> 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
> positions. 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? 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. They have even admitted as much!

The gov. has done the same as private enterprise- downsized
(translation- fucked over) the work force of America by turning many
jobs into temporary, seasonal, provisional, etc. And taken away
benefits. Welcome to the eighteenth century. Wow, you work 6 months?
That's a lot more than I do, and probably even more than Don Staples.

> The FS needs to have more funding specifically tied to keeping some of this
> generations most talented temps. I suggest that these temps be partially
> rated on how many hours of accumulated sick leave they have. (I have almost
> 400 hours from 15 years of work experience.) Create a series of "Super
> Techs" in timber mgt. that do silviculture, timbermarking, fuels reduction,
> harvest inspecting, etc. There is plenty of work to do in the National
> Forests but, not enough funding to do the kind of non-timber sale projects
> that the public is clamoring for.

Is it your choice to be a temp? Perhaps if Congress wrote a law saying
there would only be permanent positions in the fed. gov., this would
solve the problem.

> Also, the FS needs to be forced to follow what is written on every job
> vacancy announcement: Equal Opprtunity Employer. When positions are filled,
> candidates should be selected by social security number with no names,
> genders or race indicated. That sounds a little more equal to me. How about
> you?

Hiring should be based on talent. It's not that way now. I don't know
the solution, as I TOTALLY gave up on gov. forestry years ago after
getting screwed by my state. I never even had a clue as to how to start
applying for the fed positions. When I asked back in the early '70's I
was always told "we're not hiring now- the registry is closed" whatever
the hell that meant. <G>

> Temporaries are discriminated against in many ways obvious and not so
> obvious. We can't even APPLY for most permanent FS jobs. As a temp Harvest
> Inspector, I have more experience than some of my past Sale Administrators,
> some of which aren't certified by the FS (and never will be). Isn't it time
> that the FS has a permanent person on the ground of every timber sale,
> EVERYDAY they are operating? Despite what the FS says, I have first person
> experience that says otherwise. Sale Administrators are constantly being
> held up in the office doing paper work, going to "touchy, feely" training
> sessions, timber sale accounting reports and other agency functions. This
> lack of logger supervision should be enough for "preservationist" groups to
> have ALL logging shut down in our National Forests. The FS seems to prefer
> mitigating "accidents" over prevention of them. I have first hand
> experience of that, also. Timber theft is another good reason for having
> someone on the ground everyday. When one large tree is worth thousands of
> dollars, it is very easy to "pilfer" one at the top of a long skid trail or
> helicopter unit.

Look at all the money wasted on OTHER branches of gov. Natural resource
agencies never get enough to do things right.

> I could go to work for some group like the Sierra Club and be a VERY
> dangerous man against the FS but, I don't agree with some of their views. I
> am leaving the FS after 15 years of loyal duty as a temp because there is
> no hope for a man of my heritage to get a permanent job.

I have a friend who is 48. He has a BS and MS in forestry and a law
degree. He has worked for the past 20 years in the Nat. Park Service and
USFS. He has hiked most of the Appalchian Trail, and most of the Pacific
Crest Trail taking thousands of roles of slides, and has visited almost
every park and forest in the nation. You'd think he'd be considered a
valuable assest in the fed. gov.? He's been porked by these agencies
many times. Makes no sense. The public needs to hear more about you, my
friend, and others to know what really goes on in gov.

> When your child tells you he (or she) wants to be a Forest Ranger, just
> steer them away from that idea and suggest something that is attainable.
>                                                 Sincerely,    Larry Harrell

Heck, I'm 48 and have never had a REAL job in forestry. I'm just waiting
to find a rich woman. <G>

"Still, after a year, the only forestry web page in the otherwise
sophisticated state of Massachusetts"

"In wilderness is the preservation of the world."
Henry David Thoreau

More information about the Ag-forst mailing list