Interview with Director Roger G. Kennedy
We were in the Grand Canyon, or on the edge of it,
rather, and a friend of mine came to the door of the motel and said, "Guess
what... you're the next Director of the National Park Service."
And I said ... I said, putting ... wrapping a towel around me, I said, "You're
And he said, "No.
So I had ... I had not expected that outcome.
I had very strong views as to the kinds of people that I thought would damage
the National Park Service if being installed, and I suppose I had made my views
so strongly stated that I shouldn't have been too surprised, because if you care
enough to get ugly about what shouldn't happen, then I suppose the thought is
maybe you care enough anyway.
And because I'd been an old Washington hand for years and years and had
testified for 15 of those years or more before the very same committees, I guess
there was some thought that I could be useful in the Congress.
I don't ... I know that while I thought we were heading into heavy weather, that
the general disposition in the administration then elected was not that we were
heading into heavy weather, and it certainly wasn't the case among the Democrats
on the Hill who were fat and sassy and sure that the old rules would apply and
were bickering about what turned out to be trivial details.
So, anyway, I was marginally surprised and pleased because I don't mind a fight
and I thought we were going to have one.
Aside from expecting a fight ... aside from?
What concerns did you have about accepting the position?
I'm a professional manager, and I have helped reorganize the university,
University of Minnesota, I sort of created a national institution at the Museum
of American History, which needed creating in a bureaucracy that was hostile to
the ... to change, and I'd spent 10 years working for McGeorge Bundy at the Ford
Foundation watching people who had very strong patriotic views about what the
country needed work at it.
So I was not fearful about getting devoured by the routine of the
My wife had spent 15 or 20 years, as you know, working on the edge of the Park
Service, which meant that I'd spent some time on the edge of the National Park
Service, had some going in acquaintanceship, including with you, and I did not
have any illusions that I understood the organization or would do so
But I was fairly confident that since life is always a matter of by comparison,
that by comparison to any of the outsiders that were being contemplated that I
was quite confident I could do the job as well.
With respect to the insiders, of which there were probably two possibilities,
maybe three max, I knew by then that the system was so constructed that I would
have to try to draw forth from the other possible people who had far greater
credentials to take the job with respect to the organization, I would have to
draw forth from them some help in the interest of the organization because there
wasn't a chance in the world that the way the system was rigged that they were
going to get the job.
So going in it was clear to me that the best thing I could do was to try to make
peace with some people who had every reason to think that I was in their way in
the interest of the organization they cared about.
That really is ...
Well, yes, if you know that there are other people who from the get-go could
do the job that is required and were sufficiently gutsy to do it right, that
is, tackle the organization and kick it a little beneficially, if you go in
knowing that that's true and knowing also that that isn't going to happen,
then what are you going to do with it?
You're going to say, I better get those guys at least believing that I am ...
intend to do the best I can here.
I recall our first conversation, and I recall one other, and I was enormously
impressed by the capacity of ambitious men to choke down their sense that they
would do it better and go ahead and say, "Well... all right, let's get on with
How many people in the Park Service, besides
maybe those two, do you think really understood those things and the
importance of the experience that you had ...
I don't think hardly anybody.
I ... I didn't feel hostility.
I did feel an immediate intention to devour and keep busy and to ... to see that
you were kept on the road as much as possible, having that supreme experience
that everybody thinks being Director of the Park Service has, which is wandering
around the parks happily with rangers.
That was ... that's certainly the way that the system eats alive Directors, and
the other thing it does is ... if ... if keeping you out in the field and out of
the action doesn't do it, the other thing that happens is that the Washington
Office will surround you with meetings in which you are endlessly hearing
bureaucrats tell you how wonderful they are doing exactly what they've already
So that if you are ready ... if you go to staff meetings, you're a dead duck
because they will keep you so busy listening to their recitals that you will not
have the energy to engage with what has to be done.
The Washington Office that I found was comprised in part of sturdy souls who had
survived each other for many years without quite losing the face.
I could ... Denny Galvin is the top of the list.
Here's a guy who understands it, has survived it, has looked at second and
third-rate people trying to tie him down and keep him from getting on with it,
and has never lost faith and never lost the capacity to tell you the
When Denny retires it is going to be very, very hard to find a
It isn't ... nobody wants to be told the truth in front of a third party, that's
too much to expect of anybody, but to be able to close the door and have
somebody say, "You really blew it, and here's what you did wrong, and here's how
you better fix it," or "That's part of it, but you got snookered by Y."
Somebody's got to be able to do that, and any Director who doesn't try
desperately to find some honest set of abrasive person, some of them quite
uncharming, is nuts because they're going to be awfully easily
I suppose the other ... the other feeling that an outsider has, or ought to
have, is that it will take at least one full presidential term for a Director
who isn't a part of the system to become credible to the system.
That doesn't mean that somebody's got to do this thing for eight years, but it
does mean that you get more thanks after you've left by far than when you're
trying to do it, and it also means that you're going to always make some folks
profoundly uncomfortable if you effect change at all.
And I think the National Park Service needed some change, and I think it still
needs considerable change, and that will produce cold response from the
custodians of the routine.
Even if you didn't have anything to do except just worry about it.
But, of course, that's about ... worrying about the Park Service and defending
the parks is, I don't know what, 40% of the job because the Congress is there
and the administration is there and the Assistant Secretary is there and the
Secretary ... the Secretary will never know enough about how organizations
function to understand what any Director has to do.
Will never understand that.
The chances of getting somebody ... a Secretary of the Interior who has managed
a large organization hands on and has grown up through organizational life,
chances of that are almost zip, and the great ones like Harold Ickes, have no
experience with this. Bruce Babbitt was a small state governor, just as Bill
Clinton was and Jimmy Carter were small state governors, and that's not training
for organizational sophistication.
So they're going to do things that are going to drive you nuts if you're trying
to sustain incremental change.
They just will.
So the next question is: okay, how do you find some linkages to those offices,
how do you find some linkages through the staff on the Hill to convey some sense
that you need to be heeded?
It isn't that you're wonderful, lovely and splendid.
It's that some ... they've got to have a reason to pay attention to you, and if
they don't pay attention to you, they will do things to the Service and to the
functions of the Service that ... both directions, whatever party it is ... that
will not be done in comprehension of the way that this organism works.
It's really like ... it's like a horse.
You better know how a horse works or you better not work with it.
And amateurs can't do that.
Well, I hope what you said this morning and
what we heard from E.L. Wilson will help effect change in the Park
I hope so.
Obviously ... what I did ... because I often tend to be a little argumentative,
I did submit my remarks to the bureaucracy, at least to the top of the
bureaucracy, to be sure that it wasn't too offensive, and some of the ... some
of the discussion that all is not well and all is not ... and the support for
the Park Service is the most loved agency, that's the most pernicious single
notion besetting the National Park Service.
Lyndon Johnson used to talk about getting horses across ... or getting cows
across a river that the average depth was three inches but there are going to be
places where it's 20 feet and you're going to lose a lot of cows, and that's the
way it is with the ... with the Park Service.
There is ... sure there is an amiable sense, it's a nice outfit and wouldn't
that be swell, but I can tell you when the Gingrich Congress hit and the
Governor of Arizona wanted to put the cops to replace the rangers in
Grand Canyon, there was not an outcry, there was not an effective outcry, and
certainly when we beat back the desire to cut back the Park Service budget by
one-third, there was no ... there was no help from the environmental
organizations and there was damn little help from the friends associations
because they didn't know that was their job.
So the notion that this is a beloved agency and you can float down the river
with them is baloney.
It is an organization that has some little pockets of support here and there,
but it is not widespread, it is not deep, and it is not mobilized.
Do you think that's something that's changed over time?
Yeah, I do.
I really do.
Yeah, I do.
I think, of course, that the last two decades have produced a disaffection from
patriotic Service generally, starting with the legitimate antagonism from the
left during the Vietnam War period, lots of black people felt the governments,
state governments in particular, were arrayed against them, the government was
the enemy, and then, of course, Ronald Reagan made it an article of policy that
we would attempt to make the Federal government the enemy ... imagine ... being
the chief executive of a large organization which you try to turn into the enemy
is certainly an interest Inc. why address to democracy, but it was successful,
and it is absolutely par for the course for kids from the beginning to think
that government Service, the CIA, the big enemy, that government Service is
pernicious, and then the right wants the government out of the way so that their
clients can triumph.
The combination of the two has had profound effects upon the National Park
Service, of which the National Park Service is serenely ignorant, which is what
I was trying to say in the nicest possible way this morning.
Do you think that's changed at all since you were Director?
I am proud to think that I at least have embarrassed the environmentalists
into thinking that they have ... they have a role, they've got a stake in the
I'm really pleased that Ed Wilson this morning indicated a further desire
for ... on the part of academic institutions, previously largely indifferent, to
Now, the next step, of course, is so what for the average
Who is going to help here?
Where is the hand from the National Park Foundation to say I'll backfill for you
if you need to send somebody to school?
What's going to happen when the first guy who could be a Superintendent of a
small park and now is an Assistant Superintendent somewhere else wants to go get
What's the response to the organization going to be?
What about the ranger that wants to go be a historian or vice versa?
How are we going to get it done?
I think that Park Service is ... has the education message for which I'm also
This is now sort of a staple of the discourse, this is an educational
institution, yeah, that's grand, and it's true, but that's the first
The second step is to get real about this and to make the National Park Service
a place where legitimately you can go to learn the truth and truth about
biology ... some of that is going to make the National Park Service unpopular
with people who do not want the truth spoken.
We already know that.
Battlefield parks ... Civil War battlefield parks mustn't talk about slavery,
God save the mark.
But I'm sure the next one is going to be not ... parks that have lots of species
that are getting lost mustn't talk about biological diversity because that will
get us near the Endangered Species Act, and, oh, my goodness, that means we may
have to change our behavior.
So this is a time of test that do you really believe in those missions and are
you willing to spend some money and exert yourself and make up for some guy in
maintenance that wants to go get a degree and let the short-term suffer
Are you going to go out and get some help?
Are there friends organizations that are going to pony up?
It's really ... that's where we are.
It's the now so what?
So having ... having helped John Hope Franklin to say some useful things and
having talked with Ed Wilson a fair amount to try to get him to say some useful
things, the next thing is we better be real about this.
We better ... the new chief of operations ... has a grand opportunity to go get
help, and the National Park Foundation has a grand opportunity to be helpful,
specifically helpful Superintendent by Superintendent, aspiring Park Service
person by aspiring Park Service person so that 20 years from now, or 10 or five,
when a kid says, why should I give a damn about a minnow, the answer is ... and
this is ... and we can get away from the dumb clichés about canaries in caves,
We're talking about God's creation here, and are you going to participate in
preserving that respectfully or not, or are you going to see it
This is the war zone is the nicest possible way of saying it.
The war zone.
This is ... the National Park System's whole reason for being is under test
Just astounds me.
Boy, you're sure right about ... about outside
friends not understanding or help ... I mean, I've said just about what I
said to you to people around Grand Tetons who are really active, you know,
conservationists, and it's just like a blank stare.
Yeah, it is.
I have this strong sense that the generic argument, as you suggested, it didn't
penetrate, and it's got to ... you got to put a face in it.
You've got to be some kit that says "I want to do science" or Karen
Wade, God bless her, in the Smokies, there were lovely things this
morning except that only three people got them.
I don't know.
But here's E.L. Wilson saying the Great Smokies National Park all tax thing is the model for the world, and do you suppose two Superintendents ... two Superintendents who are working for Karen think that ... make the connection that if she ... I guess made her predecessor, but certainly she hadn't made the connections to the University of Tennessee and the University of North Carolina, all those people that I was told would never, never deal with a woman, oh, my no, if she had made those connections, we wouldn't have any all tax [inaudible] for E.L. Wilson to celebrate.
So, now, I wanted to get up and put my hand up and say, "Are you listening?"
I don't know, I hope more people were.
It even got featured in what whole piece of "Newsweek."
The outside world gets it.
And I ... I hope ... I think I have ... I think I'm an example of a fairly decent outsider.
The reason for an insider is to take the organization by the scruff of
its own neck and to say, be able to say, "I know all about how tough it
is to do this.
This isn't some son of a pitch from outside who is telling us what to
I know how it is to do this, and I'm here to tell you that we're going
to take the following steps.
We're going to figure out 10% of the workforce is going to get upgraded
in the next three years, I mean upgraded intellectually.
We're going to do my program.
And I am going as Director to pedal around to see every friends group
and say I would like two bodies from you, please.
I would like backfilling for that.
And here are the people."
Now, the probabilities of that happening are about, I would say,
somewhere like 2% in the way that the American political system
The chances that somebody can take this outfit and treat it the way the
Marine Corps treats itself, which is the model, this is the civilian
Marine Corps, the chances of that are currently small, but I hope that
they increase because it seems to me the ideal circumstance is a
uniform-wearing Director with a this crowd ought to be in uniform, they
ought to be marching down the street in battalion strength, they ought
to be looking like the Marine Corps, they ought to be making people
proud of who they are so that they are absolutely recognizable.
I did my best about that.
Other Federal land management agencies like the
Forest Service, BLM, certainly, even the Bureau of Reclamation and Corps
of Engineers have been moving from resource extraction and manipulation
more toward recreation and the contemplative aspects of these things.
Do you feel that that's going to have an impact on the Park Service?
I think Sears, Penney's and whoever it was, K Mart, are healthy in the
same shopping center.
I've heard it again yesterday, we are competing for the attention of the
world with the Disney company.
We are capable of learning from the Disney company to do our work
When Mike Dombeck, who is the genuine hero of the times, takes the
Forest Service and gives it a sense of real stewardship and not
extraction, we ... the National Park Service ought to be in their
uniforms forming up battalions and surrounding the National Forest
Service headquarters and cheering.
First of all, what the hell are we in business doing anyway?
We're trying to save the American land.
So leave us celebrate.
Secondly, do we want some allies in the good work?
I think we do, yes, I do.
Do I think that means a squabble for shares?
Are we in the ghetto struggling for scraps?
This is such a derogatory view of American democracy.
As you can tell it, I feel strongly about this.
The notion that this is such a poor country that we can't afford and
won't afford to support the maintenance of our role in history and our
role in our environment rejoicing in the presence of allies, I find that
so despicably self-nugatory, that so diminishes the Park Service's view
of itself that it's got to sit around anxiously looking out of the
corner of the eye to see whether somebody is saving the earth better
than they are?
What does that mean?
And the notion that the ... the most pernicious notion that bee sets the
Democratic and Republican parties moment is the absurd idea that this
country cannot afford to spend money to sustain itself.
That's what underlay the budget agreement.
Now we're going to worry about a surplus that was squeezed out of the
blood of necessary services during the preceding 10 years.
This is wrong, morally wrong.
We've gone 10 or 15 years in which we didn't do an appropriate job.
We didn't take care of the parks.
We forced the Forest Service to sustain itself and pay its salaries out
of the extraction of timber.
We wouldn't pass a mining law that would permit us to take care of the
West better, and now we're saying, isn't this wonderful, we have this
What a swell thing.
Our grandchildren will not thank us for this.
So my view of this is it's everybody's all together in this.
It is obvious there are a lot of people here who are angry that the BLM
is being given monuments that ought to be ours.
Well, it takes about 12 seconds thinking that the consequence could
easily be that the BLM begins to be a real steward of the land and the
Park Service ought to be encouraging its people to go have breakfast
with the BLM guys all over the place.
This is an opportunity to teach.
It's not an opportunity to hunker down.
It's a dumb thing to say this guy got breakfast and I didn't get
This guy has a responsibility for land that the Park Service could
easily have, and that's an opportunity for them to get better.
But they sure as well won't get better if the Park Service hunkers down,
pays no attention to this, or gets mad about it, which fortunately a lot
of people aren't.
I mean, in Utah we got folks helping.
In Arizona, I hope it happens, too.
I hope the staff at the Grand Canyon spends a great deal of time outside
of the boundary helping those guys get better at what they do.
If you ... not if ... when it is clear that if you want to learn about
how to manage land responsibly, you better go to the National Park
Service or somebody in it.
When that happens, then the Park Service doesn't have to worry much
about who gets what, because whoever manages it, they're going to make
use of the professionalism of the National Park Service.
Seems to me the right way to look at this.
I hope that is responsive to whatever question was in your mind.
Yeah, it was.
The muling and puking and complaining is enough, enough.
The Park Service can, and there are a lot of people in it who do, can
look out over the current frustrations to see the degree to which as
E.L. Wilson told us this morning to which they have a huge comparative
advantage as professionals in the world's needs.
These are exactly the kinds of people who if they were in corporate life
would be saying to themselves, "Jeez, all these years I've been learning
how to do that, and now there's a market for it."
It's a terrific opportunity.
A lot of us in the National Park Service I think have seen values
such as species and natural ecosystem preservation and heritage
preservation and the opportunity to find personal renewal in protected
areas as National Park values.
You've just said something about what you see as a role of the Park
Service in affecting the way other entities view that.
Do you think that's influenced ... I'm going to interject myself in this
and they can cut it out.
See, I think part of what is feared by Park Service people when they see
that happening is that although they know there are a lot of really
extraordinarily good people in those organizations, they also know that
they're made up of a mass of people who have ... who are, you know, just
blind to what these things are about.
Well, when you're Director of the National Park Service you learn, if
you're lucky, that there are a lot of true believers out there.
You may have to get to them through several layers of routine people,
but there are real believers out there, and I think that's true
larger ... beyond the boundaries.
I ... once again, I think about Chief Dombeck courageously sitting there
trying to get the Forest Service to be what jack Ward Thomas asked it to
be and couldn't get it to be.
Well, if ... and there are certainly people in the Forest Service that
are going to try very, very hard to do that.
If the Park Service guys next door are cheering them on, that's how you
redeem a society.
If you were appointed Director of the Park Service today, what would
your action agenda be?
Well, first of all, I think we're doing it.
My ... I don't feel that what I tried to do, to put the emphasis on the
teaching function, and the being taught function, I do not come away
from this gathering thinking that that is unheard.
I really think we're on that.
Bureaucratically, I would commence by recognizing that the ... that the
most important linchpin in the functioning of the National Park Service,
Dennis Galvin, isn't going to be there a year from now, and I would
start out by thinking to myself, how can I cobble up a kind of composite
Galvin who ... and those functions, it seems to me, are thorough
knowledge of the outfit, having gained the respect of the outfit long
enough so that people aren't going to try to get away with
I have seen Galvin lacerate important ... important Superintendents as
nobody who didn't have the respect of the outfit could do.
the next thing to do, as you were composing this, is to find around you
some people who you can trust, who are going to tell you of your own
mistakes and of the truth to the extent that that's ...
I experienced a good deal of attempted snookering by people who are
still in the National Park Service, and fortunately there were folks
like you around who could provide a little warning about that.
But without the warning, if somebody doesn't have somebody they trust
that is ... that knows the system and could have managed it to tell them
to look out for X or Y, they're going to be in serious trouble.
That's what ... the first thing ... I don't know whether we're being
filmed or not and I couldn't care less.
The first thing that you have to do is to be able to get through the day
in a way that lets you just function.
The next thing, it seems to me, crucially is to look at the legislative
office and be sure that that office gets you to the Hill to the staff
You can make the formal calls and take the three minutes.
If you're lucky ... I mean, the virtue of the outsider ought to be that
that outsider ought to be able to do that formally and have the
acquaintanceship with the senators and congressmen, or some of it, in
the pocket going in so that there's some candor going in.
I have I seen Secretaries of the Interior to treated senators like
children and it didn't work.
And they wouldn't do that if they had been hiking, if they had had
lunch, if they had ... knew something about each other's
I mean, this is a community of people.
And we would have a ... we would have a different context for the work
of the National Park Service today if there had been more friendly,
respectful small-town relationships on the Hill.
Those are absolutely essential.
Ralph Regula is ... and Ralph Regula's wife are courteous friend of
I'm about to go off to Portland to make the Mark Hatfield Annual Address
to the Oregon Historical Society, two Republican gentry of some
When I was given absolution essentially to go campaign for Sherry
Ballard in Upstate New York because he didn't have [inaudible]
importance, but I promised him that if he would help us out on a couple
of things, I would go show up in his district as if I were campaigning
for him in my uniform.
I didn't say anything about the Democrats, and I didn't say anything
about the Republicans.
I talked a lot about the Revolutionary War, which is a perfectly safe
subject, but it seems to me essential that those alliances be
I ran into Frank Murkowski on the street not long ago, and I got a big
hug, for goodness sake.
I'm not sure that I merit.
But at least it wasn't a hostile relationship.
And, in fact ... what I'm simply suggesting here is that these are human
connections and to treat them as if they are institutional isn't going
With respect to the work of the Service, I think it's easier for an
insider to address the problem of smugness and complacency an it is for
You really have to pick your language if you're talking to somebody from
outside, and I think the insularity and the bunkering of the Service, if
there is an outsider Director, which I think is highly probable, that
person had better have an insider like John Reynolds at their elbow so
that that person can translate to the Service those things that the
Service may not want to hear.
And, I guess ... it's very, very hard for people who emerge from a
business back ground where there are economic incentives and
disincentives and where, much more important, there is a false
simplicity in the objectives of the organization, management
You know where you're going.
It's very simple, really... you're going to make money.
That's that, as long as shareholders are taken care of.
A lot of other things can fall by ... you can do nice things on the
You can make good speeches at the Chamber of Commerce and ... or you can
be a good philanthropic business person, but that is no training to
manage an organization which has complex, very complex tasks to perform,
very complex tasks, all of which have to be done at the same
Business people are ill equipped to deal with ambiguity and with
complexity of task.
Business people have a rotten time connecting their daily lives to their
Park Service people can do that every day they walk out the
And those are differences.
So what ... so it seems to me that it depends on where you come
If the next Director of the National Park Service comes from outside it,
that person ought to go to church or their shrink before they walk in
the door to have somebody tell them honestly what their infirmities are
going in, what they don't know about, what they can't understand
readily, because they're going into a different ... it isn't a different
culture, it's a different set of tasks.
If that person is a general or an admiral or something, which is always
possible, that's different, too.
That's about killing, or getting ready to.
There was a line I was going to use this morning, which I will now use
because maybe it's useful to somebody.
It is that Alfred North Whitehead said ... you can see why I didn't use
this ... that wars can protect, but wars cannot create.
It's easier to protect than it is to create.
And the National Park Service with a proper view toward its complex
tasks can be a very creative agency.
That kind of notion makes lots of Park Service people nervous because
they have been so schooled to preserve and protect.
Hell, that's ... that's a penitentiary.
That's not a park.
So ... it's different.
How do you explode it out and make it useful?
Good Park Service people do that all the time.
So summary for that piece, you start with yourself, who the hell are you
Where did you come from?
What do you know about what don't you know about?
What's your bag of tricks and what don't ... what tricks don't you
And then, what's the connection to this extremely complicated
Poor old Mike Dombeck, if he were just doing the old Forest Service bit
of getting the timber out and letting them ... run the campground,
that's not a terribly complex task.
He's decided to make it complex.
We talked earlier about the science community and the relationship
between Park Service and those folks.
I don't remember whether ... the question really was asked if what you
would change in the way we relate with them.
With the scientific community?
Well, I guess the first thing to do is to what we did this
I mean, this is the Dennis Galvin triumph.
We get a first-rate biologist who is the centerpiece, and the previous
day we get a first-rate historian who obviously radiates all kind of
And you set them up so that you would say to everybody, pay attention
for gosh sake, you know, you're in the presence of greatness
So that's the first thing.
Let's be aware that there's ... there are people out there who can teach
Second thing is, of course, every ... to the ... I don't know about
every park, that's too ... maybe every park, but every Superintendent
ought to know what the academic institution is that's closest to attend
that has the people worth paying attention to.
The next Superintendent at Bandelier has got wonderful people, wonderful
people, doing first-rate scientific work, first-rate, and that work is
absolutely unknown to the folks in Los Alamos at the senior level next
door, the Santa Fe Institute, or the College of Santa Fe, St. John's
college, University of New Mexico, pretty much.
Well, doing the work is just part of it.
But connecting it to the rest of it is more.
Now, the troops are all for that, I mean, in that particular place, so
far as I know.
Smokies is a grand example.
Just grand example where they are exchanging people with the adjacent
communities and the adjacent colleges.
That's ... Park Service has got to deserve the public's trust.
You got to merit it.
You can't just stand around in a uniform and say "Love me... a
Not to death?
Yeah ... yes.
Are you all ... are you doing more than me?
Are you doing other Directors?
Oh, you are.
I'm not sure that I'll do George because Bill Everhardt has
interviewed him, but George has promised to talk with me some,
And Gary is not here, but I'm ... whether I have to do on it my own or
whatever, I'll get to talk with Gary.
But the others are all here and I'll be interviewing them.
The cultural resources question, some ... the contention that some
consider it an elitist concern, that average Americans aren't really
interested in ...
Independence Hall and all that stuff, Washington Monument.
That is such a silly thing.
That's such a silly thing.
That's a self-infatuated on the part of somebody who doesn't want to
That's ... Ellis Island, nobody's interested in Ellis Island?
Yes, we could do ... Gettysburg?
We're not having ... the argument that we're loving places to death does
not square very well with the idea that we are ... that people don't
B., nobody ought to work for the Park Service 20 years from now who
doesn't ... who thinks that Yellowstone is a natural park with no
Or vice versa.
I mean, that's simply dumb.
Or that ... I remember when we thawed out the basket, I guess it was
11,000 feet in North Cascades.
That's not a cultural park?
There were people wandering across those mountains for their own
purposes a very long time ago.
No obsidian in Yellowstone being transported to Ohio?
This is silly.
The magic is being able to look at the eyes of the group around the
campfire, or if you do television, imagine it and try to draw forth from
them the light in the eyes so that the light tells you what they're
interested in, and if you can't do that about Ellis Island, I don't know
what you should be doing, but something else.
The tourist business, which is related to Independence Hall and the Bell
and Ellis Island ought to be engaged with a whole lot of other aspects
of the Delta of the Hudson, that tourist business is most indelibly
obvious as a component of western parks because they're destination.
They're not daily use.
But the truth of the matter is that the interconnection with ... with
American schooling broadly considered is in... you cannot distinguish
cultural and natural from the ... from the education function of the
parks or their relationship to the local school system.
If you go in and just want to talk to a biology professor, what are you
going to do with everybody else that the American people have decided is
important for their kids to learn about?
I did not succeed at all in shattering the distinction between the
I wanted to combine the two and have one resource person, and the
Department of the Interior couldn't understand that, because I thought
that would have a nice destabilizing effect upon all these foolish
Somebody else might give appear whack and fire anybody who can't do
You might have to fire quite a few on the way, but you ... the notion
that you don't need to pay attention is wrong.
In fact, it would be kind of interesting ... I mean, if somebody really
wanted to get playful, you could take a good operations guy, or person,
and say, "Why did you come to work here?
Why did you bother?
Because you like fixing boxes?
"I'm going to put you in charge of cultural and natural resources and
I'm going to talk with you once a week about how you're doing."
That would be fun.
It won't ... it's unlikely to occur, but it would be very therapeutic
because would it manage to get somebody ... it's what you would do in a
company, in a corporation, or university ... wouldn't at a university
because they're too lazy, but you would ... lazy intellectually ... you
would take somebody who for a while anyway would bring a set of habits
from manufacturing into finance, or from marketing into finance, or vice
versa, so that they would be fresh on the job.
That would be fun.
The Native peoples, and it was certainly going on during your time as
Director and before ...
And this week there will be a Kennewick decision, I gather.
How did you deal with it as Director?
Oh, there are two questions there.
There's how did you deal with it as Director and how do you wish you had
dealt with it as Director?
I don't know how that goes.
Well, I think, to begin with, the next Director ought to read David
Hurst Thomas' "Skull Wars" book, which tells you what an anthropologist
who has spent a lot of time with Native Americans thinks about the
dilemma and acknowledging that it's a dilemma.
The first ... the going in, which I believe actually I did pretty well,
I'm quite proud of having come to the job with a ... with a lifetime of
having worked with people whose heritage was not understood and
appreciated very much and helping in every way I could to make it more
likely that a national constituency would understand that there were
legitimate claims, Japanese American internment, civil rights during the
'70s, in fact, civil rights during the '50s, which everybody seems to
But in any case.
So I'm proud of having put Pat Parker into a job where there was a real
Indian person who cared and knew about Indians, and I'm quite proud, I
think, of having encouraged the changing of the guard in the archaeology
and history departments of the National Park Service, which had noble
folks in charge of them but they had not refreshed themselves recently
as to what was required, and that fairly seamless process of getting
nice people appreciated continues to this day.
I was very proud of the Barr's Fellowship being noted this
We pay attention to people who do good work.
A little respect goes a long way in regard to these matters, and
understanding that we white males and females are impoverished in our
symbolic life, and some Indians are rich in symbolic life.
We can walk through Wren's Cathedral or the synagogue [inaudible]
synagogue in Rochester New York utterly unmoved by what it ... its
windows or inscriptions tell us.
We think it's interesting architecturally or something.
It isn't necessarily true that any Choctaw drawn at random would go to
those places more responsively, but there's a marginal chance that they
might, and certainly there's a marginal chance that ... that a Cherokee
would not laugh at a reliquary with the bones of a saint in it or the
alleged bones of a saint ... or alleged piece of the true cross.
Ho, ho, ho.
There's ... there's ... it's us that aren't getting it.
Now, does that make it easier to administer questions under
Well, it does if you say to yourself I don't really understand this one,
I really don't understand about this.
I don't know how seriously to take this claimant.
I don't know how many of these folks are going to, as soon as they get
the stuff back, are going to sell it off to a dealer.
I don't know who are honest and who are not.
But there are people who do know that.
There are people at the Museum of the American Indian who are dealing
with this every day and doing it extremely well.
And there are people in the Park Service who do, too.
But you have to begin by knowing that we are ... have things to learn
and that anthropology has things to learn and archaeology does, and the
Indians have things to learn, too.
It's going to be very arresting ... a guy came up to me yesterday and
said would I help out with the African-American graveyard situation in
We have the bones of a whole lot of free blacks and unfree blacks under
a skyscraper sitting in lower Manhattan, and the question is, what are
we going to ... what's the Park Service ... the Park Service has been
handed this lovely problem.
What are we going to do with this?
Well, the first thing you do is pay a little attention to
It doesn't happen to apply to blacks, although the notion that there's a
distinction here racially is absurd.
How do we know what the DNA is of those folks.
But we need to look at that respectfully.
How would we feel about somebody messing with the bones of our
It starts with that, and from then on you turn to
I don't want to have some amateur plunking around with Kennewick
I want to have some folks that have spent a lifetime thinking about it
or worrying about and thinking it's complex.
So, is there a way of ... is there a checklist, not in this regard, not
in regard to picking a wife or a husband, not in regard to any serious
activity, friend, sustaining a friendship ... are any of these
susceptible ... is anything important in life subject to quick
Everything that's quick ... subject to quick disposition is
How can the Park Service help an increasingly diverse American public
aware of their stake in ... become aware of their stake in the National
Park Service, the system and the programs of the Service.
Well, the obvious answer there is to hold up the mirror, isn't
Are you interested in an increasingly diverse America?
Is it part of your daily ritual to think about your role as a
If it isn't, then the rest of the country isn't going to pay any
attention to you either and you're going to dry up, the water table
below the parks is going to diminish, and they will wither up and get
This is ... what the Park Service can do, of course, is to write good
speeches for the Director to paw over and rewrite, to pay attention to
the way that you treat the press in your own place, to invite local
press in not when there's a crisis the rest of the time.
Routine tasks of running any imperiled enterprise.
Be really sure that you can eat chicken a la king one more time at the
All that stuff that every good Superintendent knows but bad
Superintendents don't learn.
And at the national office level, the beginning of sit to recognize that
this is not a beloved institution that can float along on a down ... on
a lovely mountain stream.
This is an imperiled enterprise in a society that is profoundly sick,
and the Park Service has a function to restore the health of the
landscape and restore the health of the society and needs to behave as
if it did.
The big endeavor in this particular gathering at which we are all in
attendance is to ... is to fight off nostalgia and to fight off the
complacency and get on with the mission.
Isn't it interesting how uncomfortable the crowd was when they were told
there would be no task but that rather they were to think about the
Now, it wasn't stated in a way which was terribly compelling, and there
are other ways of suggesting to people that why don't ... you got to
think about why you got up in the morning.
I mean, that's what we're talking about here.
What would let you survive OMB as they hold up your promotion?
What ... how will you be able to return to doing your rosary, so to
speak, when every ... when the department is ... won't let you get ...
hasn't approved a Superintendent so you can't get on with your
Those are the questions.
That's what the mission is.
The mission is knowing why the hell you're working here.
And if ... I suppose since none of us are islands, if we got some guy
from the local school or college that's telling us how important and
wonderful our work is, that will help us under those periods, when
there's somebody, if we can imagine John Hope Franklin or Jim Horton or
somebody equally wonderful saying to us, "Isn't it terrific that you
have noticed in the Cuyahoga national" ... whatever the hell it's
called ... wildlife something or something ... "where the Underground
Railroad passed through and you're helping people understand that Ohio
had an important redempt ... I mean, these are the little things that
nobody likely get promoted for, but if ... if the commitment to the work
is there, and I suppose if we are talking to possible subsequent
Directors, if you don't believe in that, don't take the job.
And that brings us again to something that's really been thread
running through everything you've said, I think, and it's the contention
that the Park Service has kind of been tiptoeing into outreach education
but certainly we could be doing better at it.
How would you now go about that?
Well, I think I would ... I think I would start by reflecting upon
the experience of my predecessors and how an absence of a sufficient
constituency meant that they had to spend a lot of their time playing
defensive ball and not advancing the cause, and I think ... any Director
who does not feel deep envy when they see George Hartzog's confident
sense of what the job is, envy of the circumstances, envy of the
period ... George doesn't have any illusions about what a wonderful,
ebullient time it was to work where you could build an arch and build a
park, but go on from that and add a park a week or a month or whatever
it was, and there was Lyndon Johnson around, and there were both houses
of Congress were led by gentlemen and ladies.
That's not the current circumstance all the time.
And then you look at guys ... look at the guys who had to do their best
with absolutely no understanding on the part of their immediate
superiors, including the President of the United States, of what their
work ought to be.
Those guys earned their medals, and it is ... and they ... they were
able to earn some of those medals because there was enough of a
constituency that wasn't going to let the work of the George Hartzogs in
the Palmy Days go down the tubes completely.
I think half my time was defensive ball, initially because the Democrats
and the administration and the Congress agreed on an absurd budgetary
policy that would defer the benefits until later and thought that the
Heisenberg Effect, the just simply tinkering with the boxes was going to
produce a wonderful result and/or that it is a good thing to sweat out
of an organization, any organization, promiscuously, 10% or 15% of its
Those are not ... it may be that each of those instances is justified in
the specific case, but not generically.
And we spent a great deal of time accommodating that and meanwhile
trying to get on with helping the Park Service become a better
And after that came the Cambridge Congress, or that portion of it, which
incidentally didn't include Newt Gingrich, that were really ... desire
to do dismantle the National Park System.
And we beat them.
I really do feel that having had a lot of experience working with the
camera crews at ABC, NBC and CBS was helpful for me in doing that,
because they can make you ... regardless of who the guy with the good
teeth and the hair, the anchor person is, it's the producers and the
crews that, as in this organization, that are going to get you time, and
we did, I remember, seven network shows over one hairy weekend when
there was a 30% cut proposed on the preceding Thursday, and it was gone
It got me beat up on the Hill a lot, but I am very proud of
I don't think the National Park Service has a clue as to how close it
was that we were going to get a whole lot of parks closing and a whole
lot of people fired.
So I'm not ashamed about that, but I am sure that when that test came
there was hardly anybody there, including people in the Park Service ...
I'm not mad about that.
There was ... there were people who said thanks and who were there to
help, there really were, but as for the environmental organizations, one
of the most significant of them put the knife in the back at exactly the
appropriate moment and made it harder, not easier, to defend the
National Park Service and System.
So, I ... I hope that the next guy doesn't have to spend as much time on
that part of the game.
I, therefore, believe that the constituency building, sustaining process
is the first line of defense.
I hope the next Director, if we are talking to the next Director in some
mystical way here, will grab the National Park Foundation by the throat,
talk to its vice chairman, it's reigning person as an ally and friend
and suggest that the cross-roughing that is possible between the two
hasn't happened really yet so that the necessary changes that the
Director sees as essential but can't sweat out of the system financially
can ... that bag of marbles can be in the desk so that if somebody comes
in and says I can't let that person out of the park because I can't
backfill that the answer is, yes, you can.
Now, did you mean it?
I think this relationship is very important.
With respect to the other constituency organizations like NPCA, there's
a real opportunity to work intelligently with NPCA, which was there not
at the commencement of my period of time.
There is now an opportunity to work sensibly with the Park Foundation,
which there was not when I took office.
And we have some people who can do that.
Those are very big assets.
But without the constituency, the roots will dry up, and they're pretty
Are you saying that the National Park Foundation should be able to
provide the means of bringing someone in to fill when you ...
Yes, in the park, sure.
I think so.
If you're running any ... any government thing like national museum of
anything or the Smithsonian Institution, you can't expect that you're
going to get a private money that's going to make life easy for you, but
by golly, on margin, if there's a test case here and a test case there,
you can tinker the system that way.
That's what the privy purse of a King is for.
And there's no privy purse.
But the use of it is ... of course, can degenerate into patronage, plums
and sweeteners for the nice guys.
So there's a peril in this, and that's why an outside outfit with a
couple of sophisticated people in it that asks questions are
I don't mean this is ... most foundation Presidents have $25,000
discretionary pot or something ... in dollops of that or
I think the Director of the National Park Service should be able to go
to the foundation knowing that there's a pot there that if they can make
the case for specific help they could get.
I think that's a very important thing to have, especially when people
come away from this meeting and say, well, hell, they're talking a lot
about improving our professionalism, and I'll believe it when I see
Well, the Director ought to say, I'll believe you when I see you taking
action on the basis of this little teaser I've got for you.
Well, you mentioned what may have been the most satisfying moment in
your Directorship, averting the awful disaster that could have
But were there others?
Or was that it, do you know?
There are ... oh, I can get very misty-eyed about showing up in a park
where nobody had ever seen a Director before or showing up actually and
looking at the face of a Superintendent who was proud of you when you're
handling a local situation for them.
I think my ... I know what I'm good at, and I have some sense of what
I'm not good at, and I feel very much affirmed by being able to do what
I do fairly decently, which is to show up in front of a crowd and move
it along in a way that I can see out of the corner of my eye that
somebody is proud of their Director, and that goes for testifying, I
think I'm pretty goddamn good on the Hill, and riding back in the car
with some people who ... who are clearly proud of you and think you did
a good job ... I don't think any Director is going to get that en masse,
but if the pros know that you made it happen ... or coming down from
upstairs or down the hall, the famous down the hall walk to the
Assistant Secretary's office, and not having been beaten up
successfully, or ... or recruiting from other senior bureaucrats, Forest
Service, somewhere else, help when you need it, those are very good
None of my satisfactions come from performing roles that ... that
anybody else could have done better.
Those satisfactions come from doing those things that life has made it
possible for you to do well.
And those ... and the National Park Service as an organization is very
hard to lead, but it does know how to say thank you, individual people
know how to say thank you, which is all that you get out of life
This is certainly not something you do to get rich.
And the other reason you do it is because you do your best to do what
you know about professionally, and then somebody whose judgment matters
says, "I know how hard it is to do that, and I know that you did it
That's ... that is the top of the deck.
And that can be anybody.
That can be ... that can be a congressional staffer on the other side
who comes up to you and looks you in the eye and says, "I want you to
know that that's the best performance I have ever seen in this hall" ...
oh, and there are ... I mean, there are ... golden oldies.
I remember Helen Chenoweth asking me whether I knew when the wealth ...
did I know the book "the Wealth of Nations."
And I said, "Oh, yes, I do."
And she said, "Do you know when it was published?"
Thinking that, of course, no stumble bum ... and I said, "Oh,
I think I said September 23rd, 1776, pause, Congress lady.
I mean Bush that was a nice moment.
And then we got on to "Do you understand les affaires?"
And I said, "I think I do, though the term, of course, doesn't begin
with Adam Smith."
That's ... now, I can do that, whereas a person who wasn't an historian
would have a little tougher time.
But it stopped her dead in the tracks and afterward, God bless her, she
said, "You sure got me on that one."
In the hall.
Well, bless you, Helen.
I said, "Thank you, because you were very courteous."
And I remember with considerable pride my last appearance before Jim
Henson, an attack dog if there ever was one.
I mean, these are little things that you remember that you're kind of
I had some experience with Joseph McCarthy in the 1950s so that when
those sons of bitches on the Hill asked me to testify under oath I was
able to say, I've been through this once before, and if you don't
remember, congressman, Mr. Welch's words, "Have you no shame," I
Well, those are things that it's nice to be able to remember.
Under oath, indeed.
Have we exhausted this subject?
Yeah, I think... at least we need to give some time to some other
things, although I think it may again tie in with some of what you
Is there action you took during your time as Director that you would do
Oh, yes, I would not have written memos that at the outset assumed
that the Service wanted to improve itself.
I wouldn't have done that.
I would have told them how wonderful they were for a year and a half
with absolutely no suggestions for improvement.
That was a mistake.
It was easy to ... it was easy to make a joke of.
I would ... I would ... would try to get the process of improvement done
without its becoming ... without its being made ludicrous.
I would ... yes, I acceded in one instance to White House pressure on a
I wouldn't do that.
I did not ... and I will carry with me ... the loser knows that and
knows that I am deeply regretful.
That is ... I did so because the price seemed small because the two
contenders were both perfectly okay, and the winner has been doing just
fine, but the principle is important, and it's the only time that
There were many, many, many opportunities thereafter to say "No, not
while I'm here, and I'm going."
Goes for a number of other pressure points, but that was the only ...
that's the only occasion.
It was very early on.
I thought, these are two ... and everybody else told me, these two guys,
either one is fine.
But I wish I hadn't done that.
I can't remember whether I said no on that case.
I can't remember which is which.
But I know it was a case ... oh, yes, I do remember.
Bob was doing a very good job and was, I was told, going to be moved to
a very desirable next step because of working for John Cook and all this
business ... if I had been more sophisticated about the work of the
National Park Service I would have understand that was not a good idea,
but I wasn't, so I did it the easy way.
I think that's the only instance ... in fact, I'm pretty damn sure it
But there were sure many opportunities.
Subsequent, I mean ...
I did not take Secretarial appointments.
There were some instances in which it was clear that he had a real good
idea, which upon examination turned out to be a very interesting idea,
something frequently where he had a good idea for the wrong reasons, but
that's a different matter.
And as for the Assistant Secretary, I hope he goes on to a wonderful
There's a little set of questions for Directors who were in for a
transition between administrations, and I don't think that should be
limited to transitions from one President to the next either, because
there are other things that go on further down that affect things, but
you ... well, you've dealt with the transition between Assistant
In and out.
Well, and also ... yeah, sure.
I would guess that the turnover in the Congress to the Gingrich crowd
was something of a transition.
I wasn't dealing Bruce [inaudible] I was dealing with Jim Hanson and Don
I don't think that's a tough question.
I think that's a matter of knowing what you're there for and just being
sure that there are enough people who believe in it ... you won't get
I asked the head ... the current head of a large agency how many people
he could count on ... no, it was the other way around ... how many
people are in your way in the immediate entourage that you've got to
He said, wait a minute, I can't answer that question.
You want to ask me how many people are with me out of 150, and he said,
I think maybe five or six.
Well, you need the five or six.
You better have the five or six in a transition, or ten.
And they've got to be the Denny Galvin John Reynolds kind of people
because ... and they better not be looking out the corner of their eyes,
which most folks do, to see where the wind is blowing, but you need
And I guess you need to be able to quit.
There is an obscene term, which applies to corporate people who have
enough money to quit, and the Park Service, you don't have enough money
to quit ever, but you do if you're the Director, you better be able to
mean it if you say, "I don't want to be ugly about this, but this is a
resignation matter," which I did several times.
I think the same obscene term is used in government, too.
I believe it is, too.
Yes, it is.
It has to do with being able to retire, I think.
And anybody who doesn't go in on that basis, you know, has to build a
reputation as Director of the Park Service, shouldn't take the
I guess that's the fundament.
If this is in any way perceived as a conditional or contingent or
transitory stage, you will betray the trust, period, new paragraph, end
And I don't think it has to do just with being able to
It has to do with having enough confidence to know that you can go
somewhere else and make a good living.
Maybe that's the ... back there to what do you do when you start, I
think you need to look at yourself in the mirror.
What does this job mean to me anyway?
Am I really pointing for Secretary?
Or is this ... or do I want to be President of the Rockefeller
Or do I want to be something that this builds to?
You'll die in office that way.
Just seems to me that the angels have ways of dealing with those kinds
Knowing that there will be a new administration to one extent or
another just ahead of us, what would be your advice to the next
Well, a priest friend of mine said that if you take on a new parish
you better have your blockers in place.
You better ... you better know who is going to run down the field in
front of you, or with you anyway, in the Congress, in the OEB, in the
Executive Office Building, EOB, down the corridor, upstairs.
I did not ... I did not succeed in building a partnership with the
Secretary of the Interior.
I don't believe that was possible, in retrospect.
I don't believe that we were made for each other in that
But I don't think anybody else would probably have done it much
If it were possible to do that, if it were possible to treat ... it
was ... my situation was a funny one.
I was a peer and a friend to two or three other cabinet
We were buddies.
We would hike together and we were ... and Henry Cisneros and I wrote a
piece ... a long piece for the President of the United States, to which
the President returns, has thanked me for it several time since, not
about Park Service matters, but, of course, the place to begin is, you
start at home, if it's possible to be in a relationship, if it's
possible with the Secretary, if it isn't, it isn't, but if it were so
that you could do what George Hartzog could do, I think with Stewart
Udall, I believe, which was to go up and tell him the truth, wander up
and have an easy way and know the Secretaries and know the people ...
the gatekeepers at the door so that they would know that you were a
friend and could get in the door, that's a wonderful way to
I had that with McGeorge Bundy at the Ford Foundation, and it was the
greatest period ... by far the richest period of my life in that I was
working for a great man who was smarter than I was and who, while he was
a very tough boss, and I was terrified of him, still am in retrospect, I
knew that ... and it was tested a couple of times ... that when I had
something that was hard to do, that the trustees in that case wouldn't
like, that he was there because of our mutual respect and
Well, if there's a little shred of affection, that's really
If you're not the Secretary's person, often a Park Service ... I was
certainly picked by Bruce Babbitt and Bill Clinton and Hillary Clinton
and Al Gore and Sid Yates and ... I don't know who all.
I couldn't think of who.
If you're the Director f you're the Secretary's person, that makes it a
whole lot easier because they got a stake in you.
If you're not, you just have to work at that because it will make it
vastly easier for the troops if you do.
And if you have determined, I suppose, that that's not possible because
the other individual and you are going to be on parallel lines but never
crossing over, then you have to say to yourself, "Well, how am I going
to draw on what that person wants, that we want, I want, and strive to
elicit that, refer to it as I go along?"
The irony in my case is that I am now helping out Bruce Babbitt in a
variety of ways that I never did when I was Director, and maybe it's
because I'm post-ambitious or something, but whatever it is ...
Or seen as that.
Yes, either way.
I watched Mack Bundy write speeches for very, very ... for people of
distinctly less importance than himself in the last 10 years of his
That's my model, I've been writing speeches for a lot of people, and
that goes hard when you're an alpha male and you're doing your thing,
but I think it's very restful when you're not.
I think that the context is one in which there are immensely important
decisions made on whim by very busy people, and if possible, it's a good
thing to be close to it when that's happening so that it doesn't happen
And there are always going to be a couple of people in the immediate
entourage that are good people that can understand you, understand what
the Service is trying to do ... I think of John Leshy, who was Bruce
Babbitt's ... he's the best Bruce Babbitt.
John Leshy is a great man and was always absolutely straight and
absolutely, having the general counsel in that role, he certainly told
me vigorously when he thought I was wrong, but there was never any
question that the fundamental moral objectives were the same.
And that is often true of the personal secretary of the Secretary, I
mean, the person who sits at the door.
Anybody, of course, who goes into any job of any magnitude knows that
the most important person is the gatekeeper and you make damn sure you
know who that is and get along well and bring them occasional flowers or
whatever, which amuses them, because they know exactly what you're
And that you've got enough sense to do it?
You bet your life.
I think ... I think in ... it will depend, of course, radically on
whether the administration and Congress are in the same hands. However,
when I took the job, the administration and the Congress were in the
same hands and it didn't last, and the errors made by the congressional
Democrats during my first two years in failing to recognize the
evanescence, the rapid disappearance of the opportunity, linger with me
as much as the assaults by the next crowd.
I can just think of half a dozen things that could have been done if
there hadn't been little diddles about the edge and somebody's vanity
being slightly tinctured.
But, on the other hand, there was Sydney R. Yates, who ought to be
sainted, and there ought to be ... and there were David Skaggs, who
ought to be sainted.
These are great figures that ... Sydney Yates ... a lot of other people
have been given credit for protecting the Park Service and the
Smithsonian Institution and creating the National Endowment for the
Humanities and the Arts.
It's that Sid Yates.
And nobody is saying thanks.
Maybe ... I'm trying to organize people to say thanks before he dies,
but that is true.
On the other hand, can I think of some current Democrats in the house
that somebody ought to say something else to for having blown great
opportunities, for having squandered the legacy of Burton, I mean,
things that didn't get done and could have been done.
So, anyway, the it depends radically on the relationship of the next
Director to the significant power vectors that play upon the job, and
they begin with the outside and finding folks in the inside who do not
want you kept on the outside.
That's sort of back to principle number one... they'll take you, they'll
Bill Mott you, they will keep you on the road, they will ... however
nice they may be and however sweet they may be when you make the next
trip to Yellowstone ... there is nothing that poor ol' Bill Mott really
could in heaven say that he got done that compares to what he might have
done if he had not been turned into a traveling act by the Park Service,
and that's what organizations do.
That's happened subsequently.
And it's a ... it's a squandering of an opportunity.
That doesn't mean that you hole up in Washington, but it means that
every time somebody wants you to go do something ceremonial, you better
be damn sure that somebody you trust tells you that's important to do,
that's important to do, because that's ... that's what ... that's how to
be a useless Director.