The above photo is from the National Wild Turkey Federation website here.
In terms of the blog, I thank Gaia for a more or less successful transition to the new host. I thank those of you who contribute through posts and comments, and for those who keep up the blog when I take vacation. I am thankful for Larry’s photos, that brighten my days and remind me what it’s about. I am thankful for for those who challenge me, helping me to grow in patience and to be a better thinker and writer.
I just found out earlier this week that one of my colleagues from my time at the Forest Service crossed over recently, Randy Karstaedt. He was the Director of Lands and Minerals for the seven years I was Planning Director in Region 2. He was an amazing writer and thinker, and a fun fellow beer-hoister and raconteur.
He could make the incomprehensibly complicated (federal coal regulations) make sense in a business letter. He would dream up great policy ideas (IMHO) and also assist me in tilting at windmills (like finding an agency to regulate coal mine methane). When I look at my life at the Forest Service, there were folks like Randy who were a joy to work with, even on the most otherwise boring things (pipeline litigation). Sometimes I wish I had told him these nice things, but I’m not sure that’s OK in Forest Service culture. It’s easy to say “hey, that letter you drafted was great” but not so much “when I share the burden of work with you, you not only do more than pull your own weight, and entertain me with your mental acuity, somehow your spirit brings joy to my heart.”
That’s not to say that we didn’t end up, at the tail end of our adventures, on different sides of some serious internal/external politics. But today, looking back, the political stuff doesn’t seem real or Real. The many field trips, reviews, meetings, long bus trips and associated beer-filled hours are what I remember. And I can say it now (and I believe he hears). Here’s to you, and thank you, Randy!