Here’s a link and below is an excerpt.
Yet so reluctant was USDA leadership to admit defeat at the hands of the Old Smokeys — the thousands of Forest Service retirees who wrote impassioned emails and letters to the secretary and his minions challenging the department’s action; so cornered were they by the onslaught of negative public opinion, that they would not allow Forest Service Chief Tom Tidwell to make the announcement directly to his 30,000 employees and would not identify a particular person with the 13 words exempting the agency from the rebranding effort.
How apt that the department set its notice in the passive voice. By doing so it took no responsibility for its actions, an adept evasion that Czarist Russia’s faceless bureaucrats routinely practiced and which Fyodor Dostoyevsky took such dark pleasure in pillorying.
Although there is no crime in being thoughtless (or evasive), the punishment in this case was meted out by those who once had worked within the system and now fought against its mindlessness. All credit for preserving the pine-tree logo goes to the agency retirees, the large number of FSx who remain committed to resolving some of the vital challenges confronting the 193 million acres of national forests their former employer stewards.
As I wrote in my column last week, they swiftly responded to what they interpreted as an attack on the Forest Service’s legacy, and on the honorable work and years of devoted service that they had given to the agency, the Department of Agriculture, and by extension the American public.
By leaping into the fray, they turned back Secretary Vilsack’s ill-conceived and ill-considered rebranding campaign. Their quick reactions also testify to the inescapable value of an engaged citizenry to a democratic society.
Smokeys..arise! You have nothing to lose but your non-confrontational style and cultural disinclination for conflict!