This is from High Country News, Writers on the Range, here.
Below is an excerpt:
In a one-sentence release April 4, the department granted the Forest Service an exemption to its One Brand directive. You could hear the hosannas from agency retirees and staffers a mile off.
Every other department in Agriculture, however, has had to submit to the exorcizing of their respective insignias, causing blows to their staff’s morale. In British Columbia, Canada, public-land managers in the provincial forest service, learning of their American counterparts’ successful pushback, regretted that they had not had generated as forceful a reaction when their home department obliterated their own century-old pine-tree emblem in favor of yet another bland, generic symbol.
What this Forest Service protest reveals is a deep uneasiness with the growing, corporate-style flattening of difference and identity within governmental bureaucracies. To their credit, Forest Service defenders showed an alert wariness toward lockstep representation and uniform thought.
Rebranding consultants, like the ones that the Agriculture Department hired to guide its efforts, probably promoted this strategy as a positive way to harness a company’s disparate personnel. But the Department of Agriculture is not a business, and its sub-agencies’ varied missions and different objectives cannot be, and should not have been, unilaterally reined in.
As the dustup with the Forest Service suggests, a proud institutional history is a sustaining source of workplace identity and individual satisfaction. That’s a core value even Earl Butz might have respected