10 thoughts on “Randy Moore announced as New Chief”

  1. I don’t really know anything about him, but I found this interesting: “His Forest Service career began on the Pike and San Isabel National Forests in Colorado and the Comanche and Cimarron National Grasslands in Kansas.”

    I have no idea what role the Chief of the Forest Service has in deciding whether to settle litigation, but I wonder if that might make him take a more personal interest in the upcoming travel management litigation there.

    • A previous Chief, Jack Ward Thomas, wrote this piece on how he influences settlements:

      One of the most stunning facts that I have learned over the past year is that, in its ability to independently determine whether or not to proceed with any legal activity, the Department of Justice wields the greatest capacity to set policy of any agency of the government. I naively assumed that the chief of the Forest Service made the decision as to whether to pursue a court action. Not even the undersecretary or the secretary makes those decisions. Such can merely request and suggest. The Department of Justice decides- the agency can proprose and the Department of Justice disposes. That power is not well understood even by students of the internal workings of government. If the policy-setting power of the lawyers in the Department of Justice were well understood, I don’t think anybody- Congress, the persons affected, or politically appointed agency administrators- would appreciate that fact.”

      P 232

      “In my opinion, and those of my legal advisers, the proposed agreement contained three real clunkers to which we strenuously objected. The Department of Justice is, in my opinion, almost always too eager to settle legal actions, particularly when plaintiffs are of the environmental persuasion. It was a shock to my system to find that the Department of Justice does not consider the Forest Service a client. They have little concerns as to the desires of the Forest Service or any other agency. They set their own course and in doing so are de facto setters of policy. Somehow that seems to be a serious flaw in the system. But for now, at least, it is the system.”

      Here’s a link to the whole TSW post. https://forestpolicypub.com/2011/01/17/jack-ward-thomas-on-the-role-of-doj-and-settlements/

  2. While not surprised, I am disappointed given Randy Moore’s inability to hold employees and line officers accountable for the sexual harassment that has occurred in his Region. I continue to hear terrible things from women who USED TO work in R5, especially in fire, about what they had to deal with there.

    • Agreed…of all the regions to crack down on sexual harassment/assault, I thought Region 5 would lead the way under Randy’s leadership. It did not turn out that way, which makes me think that holding people accountable is more difficult than people think.

  3. At the risk of seeming even more of an Old Fart than usual… there is some cultural stuff in Region 5 and especially in Fire that has, and apparently continues to, run very deep.

    I remember telling Lynn Sprague (who became RF in 1994-ish) when he was leaving DC.. something along the lines of “don’t kick yourself if you can’t get things to change enough… one person, even at the top, can only do so much.” (I had worked in R-5, on the Eldorado during the Consent Decree).
    In a private organization, the new leader could have replaced folks who didn’t get with the program or who appeared to but undermined the direction. In the FS… not so easy.

    It would be really terrific if some of the retirees out there who tried to change things for the better would write in (anonymously if that suits you) and tell me how it worked and what were the barriers.

    Now as to what Tony says about it being hard to hold people accountable… I’d just add a few more pieces of evidence.. from the military
    (who has more control, at least conceptually, over their people) https://thehill.com/policy/defense/559724-pentagon-chief-backs-change-to-military-sexual-assault-prosecution
    (did the FS already try this approach?)
    and academia (herding misbehaving cats). https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-018-05404-6

    • I worked on a Forest for many years where one of the Forest Supervisors did hold people accountable. I distinctly remember 2 instances where he held people accountable – one involved illegal drug use on and off the job (and learning that the forest had a reputation of being a good place to work if you were a drug user) and the other involved one of his direct reports who had knowledge and racial harassment involving two of his employees (one the harasser, one being harassed) and he learned his direct report took no action. In the first case there was a thorough investigation and all temporary employees found to have been involved were immediately fired for cause and were arrested to face civil penalties. Permanent employees were told that they could go into rehab or face arrest and termination proceedings. In the latter case, that forest staff officer was given a (surprise) directed reassignment. The Forest Sup’s reasoning was that he did not want the forest having a reputation as a place where people were not held accountable for things like that.
      It is telling in the latest analysis distributed by the WO of the commonalities among people who were demonstrated to have harassed others there were several factors, but two stood out – one was alcoholism and the other was the knowledge that they would not be held accountable.

  4. I have been sitting here waiting in amazement at your comments.

    How could any of you NOT know who and what this guy Randy Moore is?

    He was the pick to head the Forest when Hillary got elected, people. I thought EVERYONE knew that. I certainly did. You have heard of the California political system, right? You know – Kamala Harris, Nancy Pelosi, Adam Schiff, Gavin Newsom, blah, blah, blah.

    The California that takes all of the snow melt, and the rain from the National Forest mountains and flows it directly into the Pacific Ccean bypassing the people, and especially those farmers in the Central Valleys.

    THAT Randy Moore. Beginning to sound interesting?

    Oh my.

    • Speaking as a native Californian, the water situation is a wee bit more complex than what you describe.

      To think that a Regional Forester has any influence on water laws seems fantastical.

      • Not complex at all, a Regional Forester is there to do exactly what he is told to do, implementing current policy that fits his handlers wants and needs.. So is a Chief.

        The California Forest water situation is not at all complex. It rains in the California mountains. There is snow pack. In the spring the water bypasses most farming, flows into the Sacramento Delta, and on into the Pacific Ocean. It’s called California politics.

        California USED TO produce 40% of America’s fruits and vegetables. The key words are “USED TO”…

        • So, why is Lake Oroville reduced to just the Feather River? Just to let the water flow to the ocean? I doubt it. ?


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