Forest Focus - November 24, 1998

Don Baccus dhogaza at
Mon Nov 30 00:38:46 EST 1998

In article <01be1c04$0c08c1e0$d83a8ed1 at laptop>,
Larry Harrell <fotoware at> wrote:

>Lots of money can be saved by putting most of the Timber staffs (Sale
>Administrators, Timber marking crews, Layout Foresters, Timber clerks,
>etc.) on seasonal duty, taking away their benefits and preparing all timber
>sales in bulk at each Forest's Supervisor's office.

Personally, I think this idea sucks.  It is true that many other folks
in the Service, for instance the bulk of wildlife bios, work seasonally,
but I view this as an injustice.  Rather than reduce the esprit de corps
and professionalism of the Service by doing a luddite-like conversion
of all of them to the lowest common denominator, why not raise the
level of those who are not currently equal to those who have full-time

I mean...Weyerhauser employes its wildlife biologists on a full-time
basis.  Why can't the USFS do so as well? (some are, of course, but
the bulk who work in the field aren't - even if they work year-round,
they're hired as temps on revolving 6-month contracts without benefits).

If you turn the timber staffs into seasonal unbenefitted employees,
the best will simply go to private industry, just as has happened with
bios.  While this might improve management standards at Weyerhauser et
all, how does this benefit the USFS?

I fear you are simply driven by disgust and hatred of the USFS based on
your personal employment experience.  While I'm sympathetic, I find
your sense of revenge rather than reform to be somewhat counterproductive.

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

More information about the Ag-forst mailing list