Who'll Succeed Fran?

The guessing game is well under way as to who will succeed Fran as the head of the National Park Service. From what I've been able to glean, the short list is down to four candidates.
Among them is Rob Wallace, who owns a lengthy congressional background as a staffer to former U.S. Senator Malcolm Wallop, R-Wyoming, and as the Park Service's congressional liaison during the late Reagan years. He also at one time was staff director of the Senate's Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, spent time as an assistant director of the NPS, and even can claim time as a ranger at Grand Teton.
These days he manages government relations for General Electric and also occupies a seat on the Grand Teton National Park Foundation. Supposedly he was also on the short list when Dubya was first elected and decided to give the job to Fran.
I understand that Senator Craig Thomas of Wyoming, a Republican who wants Congress to give the Park Service more money, is lobbying for Wallace to get the job.
Another name I've heard is that of Lyle Laverty, director of the Colorado Division of Parks and Outdoor Recreation. I've also heard he's much, much more aligned with the folks at the American Recreation Coalition than Fran ever was.
Supposedly also on the list are the directors of the Idaho and New York state park systems. Of those four, some believe Wallace would be the most moderate of the group and the best for the Park Service under the current administration.
That said, why would someone want to leave a comfortable corporate job to undergo the intense background screening and then Senate confirmation process for a two-year job that probably pays less than he's currently making?
As for Fran, I've heard she underwent an emergency appendectomy earlier this week in Florida. I wonder if that will prevent her from joining Interior Secretary Kempthorne in Yellowstone on August 25th to mark the Park Service's 90th birthday?

Comments

Positions such as this one ought to be filled by candidates selected on a merit basis, not for they voted for last time at the polls or which candidate they last gave money to. I can't help but feel that's how Fran entered the picture in the first place. Who should get the job? The person who has the scientific background, the supervisory experience, and the know-how and understanding of what the National Park System is all about. J. Stephen Griles, let's remember, didn't that choice job of overseeing mining regulations and such because he was imminently qualified for the post. No, he got it because of his avowed friendship with Big Bidness, particularly the mining industry.
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