Billy Malone And the National Park Service Investigaton At Hubbell Trading Post

Editor's note: Earlier this year the Traveler reviewed this book. The following review, which offers a somewhat different perspective, comes from Rick Smith, a long-time Park Service employee who rose up through the ranks to become one of its top managers.

This is a very difficult book for me to review for a couple reasons. The first is the case itself. It involves Billy Malone, the last real Indian Trader employed at Hubbell Trading Post for 24 years.

Malone was among a small group of traders who ran their posts according to the old ways of doing things, probably in much the same manner as did John Lorenzo Hubbell and his family when they were still active. He bought and sold jewelry and rugs without the kind of accounting accuracy that one would expect at a souvenir shop at Grand Canyon or Yellowstone.

He accepted things on consignment and because many of his customers were unable to read or write, especially English, he often forged their signatures on the checks he cashed so that he could give them real money; most did not have bank accounts. Although he worked closely with the NPS at Hubbell, he was an employee of the old Southwest Parks and Monuments Association, later to become the Western National Parks Association. He was also, as were most of the old traders, a serious collector of Indian baskets, rugs, and jewelry.

It is not difficult to imagine what happens when the new management team of WNPA is selected. They begin a series of audits to try to determine what belongs to Billy and what belongs to the Trading Post. Despite his sterling reputation among other traders and the inhabitants of the Navajo Reservation, they become convinced that Billy is guilty of defrauding the Trading Post. They convince the NPS to open a criminal investigation into Billy’s activities. He was also terminated from his job. Everything goes downhill from there.

The criminal investigator assigned to the case makes a series of errors that would make a rookie protection ranger blanch. During the raid on Billy’s house, he seizes far more (rugs, blankets, jewelry) than the search warrant authorizes.

He does not maintain an adequate chain of custody of the seized property, even allowing the Executive Director of WNPA to drive one of the vans that contains a portion of the seized property. When the criminal investigator in Tucson who has control of the property at WACC (Western Archaeological and Conservation Center) is on leave, he authorizes a locksmith to cut the lock on the storage room so that people can see what has been seized. He withholds information that could be exculpatory from the Assistant US Attorney. These and many other errors of omission or commission make this case a nightmare.

What is even harder to accept is that the investigator seems to be operating with the full consent and support of the senior managers of the Intermountain region, so much so, in fact, that when the second investigator assigned to the case, Paul Berkowitz, the author of this book, submits his final report he submits it not to the NPS, but directly to the Office of the Inspector General.

Paul’s exhaustive investigation finally leads to the return of the seized property to Malone and a decision by the US Attorney to drop all criminal charges that had been filed against Malone. In turn, Malone has filed a civil complaint in Federal District Court against many of the NPS personnel involved in the case.

What also makes this book hard to review is Berkowitz’ unflattering analysis of NPS culture, its law enforcement program and its senior management. While he admits that there are lots of good NPS employees, he is relentless in his criticism of what he sees as corruption, cronyism, and lack of respect for law and policy within the ranks of NPS leadership.

To give you an idea of what I mean, here is his take on the Yosemite Mafia, “…"the humorous title proudly invoked by the group belies a darker side exhibited by many of its more powerful and influential members, lending altogether different meaning to the much- touted image of the NPS as a 'family.' Over time several of these powerful figures have variously been implicated in illegal activities ranging from trespassing and molestation, electronic eavesdropping and attempted blackmail, the use of government funds to pay off extortion attempts, the theft of government firearms, to even kidnapping and rape." (To be absolutely fair, I am sure that I would be considered a member of the Yosemite Mafia. Maybe that’s why that statement provoked such a strong reaction in me.)

Paul’s description of NPS culture and leadership does not square up with mine. I went to dozens of superintendent’s meetings, worked in 7 parks, WASO and two Regional Offices. The vast majority of the people with whom I came in contact were honest, hard-working, dedicated employees who wouldn’t think of using their positions to unfairly advance their careers or condone sloppy, incomplete law enforcement work.

Oh sure, we can all think of exceptions to that rule, but Paul seems to make the exceptions the rule. He is right about one thing, though. The NPS is super resistant to change. One only has to think of all the task force reports and committee deliberations that are gathering dust on shelves to confirm his assertion that the NPS culture is highly resistant to change and tends to ignore or punish different points of view. Perhaps that’s one of the reasons that the agency ranks so low in the “best places to work in the Federal Government” surveys, especially in leadership.

I never worked with Paul so I cannot comment on his attitudes toward the NPS and his fellow employees except to say that I have always heard the rumor that he was sour on the NPS, especially its law enforcement profile, and his colleagues.

But, this book is provocative and will make you think about the NPS and how it conducts itself, not only in this investigation, but also in its other activities. I read it in two days; that’s how interesting I found it. There are lessons to be learned here. It will take me a couple days to figure out exactly what they are.

Amazon Detail : Product Description

This is the story of Billy Gene Malone and the end of an era. Malone lived almost his entire life on the Navajo Reservation working as an Indian trader; the last real Indian trader to operate historic Hubbell Trading Post. In 2004, the National Park Service (NPS) launched an investigation targeting Malone, alleging a long list of crimes that were "similar to Al Capone." In 2005, federal agent Paul Berkowitz was assigned to take over the year- and-a-half-old case. His investigation uncovered serious problems with the original allegations, raising questions about the integrity of his supervisors and colleagues as well as high-level NPS managers.

In an intriguing account of whistle-blowing, Berkowitz tells how he bypassed his chain-of-command and delivered his findings directly to the Office of the Inspector General.

Comments

Rick, we all love the National Parks, the National Park System and many aspects of the NPS culture. However, the National Park Service is an altogether different animal. Please do not compensate their bad behavior or poor leadership. This only enables them and allows them to take refuge behind the outstanding employees who you refer. In truth, the contemporary NPS has taken a ride on the reputation created by generations of outstanding and dedicated employees. This generation has not lived up to the proud legacy of the agency. Please do not sugar coat it. I know you, and you know it to be true. Paul is accurate in his assessment and his observations. There is no way around it – and it hurts me to acknowledge it, as well. Protecting this bad behavior only allows more of it. We need a return to high standards and foundational values. Demand it. Do not shoot the messenger. You should be furious that the NPS has not used this incident to initiate wholesale reforms. Hold them accountable.

There was a time when the NPS and its ranger/manager corps was held in high esteem. Although the descent toward becoming just another federal agency started prior to the reorganization of 1995, this unrealistic rearrangement and diffusion of leadership, meager personnel and dollars exacerbated the NPS's crisis and created an environment for disaster. Thankfully, there are some willing to examine the tough stories so that they are less likely to be repeated. I am sorry there was no "Berkowitz" to examine the operations nightmare brought to the Southeast Regional Office by senior management over a near ten year period beginning in the late '90s. Political correctness has buried this embarrassing NPS secret, but it would make an object lesson in how not to manage change among large groups of dedicated, long-term professional employees. There are two books waiting to be written by an objective investigator, one about the failed reorganization of 1995, the other about the SERO meltdown. In the case of the SERO issue, at least 60 principals, GS-13 and above, could document the mess.

This is my second attempt at post:
I worked for the NPS for 17 years and newsflash Rick, Berkowitz is dead on! I used my real name on this post because I am not ashamed of my perspective and comments. The NPS went off the rails when they failed to recognize their responsibilities to manage people in addition to resources. The growth and management of the Law Enforcement program by the NPS should be studied in colleges! The culture created a structure of managers that treated competence as a secondary skill but loyalty to the existing structure as the most important point. When the ANPR was founded many of us thought “great.. there will be a push to professionalize the corps”. NPS managers quickly turned the organization into a way to identify “safe” future managers and promote the good old boy network. Now don’t get me wrong....There are some outstanding folks in the NPS and some really good managers. The organization never really engaged in critical evaluation and accountability. GAO reports and IG reports were tabled because “they didn’t understand the NPS”. And that Rick is the problem.
I worked on writing the first real NPS 9 and the lack of critical thinking to get professionalism was staggering. When I won my MSPB case for 6c retirement (as far as I know the only adjudicated case 1988) I was told by management it wouldn’t stand because they did not want rangers under 6c. Up and down the chain managers lined up against it but no one looked at why a persons duties might qualify. No one considered the people doing these duties and the impact of their getting lower pay and no special retirement because the Park Service culture was different. I could site many similar cases to Berkowitz that occurred to a lesser extent and even went out with Andy Hutchison to look into them. In all cases NPS management interfered. It is institutional and structural. When you have a problem you need to face it.. instead I’ll bet the folks in WASO were concerned about the impact of Berkowitz’s book rather than looking at how to revise your agent structure to make sure this never happens again. Tell me Rick, is the NPS looking at this?

Dave--

I don't know if the NPS is looking into this case. It has been a long time since I was a party to those kinds of decisions.

What I said in the book review was that Paul's description did not square up with my experience in the NPS. Evidently, it does for yours. That's not hard to understand as we worked in different parks for different bosses with different kinds of challenges and opportunities. Not only that, but we have different personalities, and we followed different career paths.

Thanks for choosing not to hide behind an anonymous post.

Rick

Rick- I appreciate that and no questions your contributions to the agency and yes I left the NPS. As you decide what the lessons to be learned are consider this. The NPS has an investigative structure that allowed an innocent man to dragged thru hell. By not having a professional investigative structure and even failing to acknowledge a problem, the NPS will at some point again harm a citizen. It is enevitable given the lack of accountability systems other Law Enforcement agencies have for Special Agents. Rick- you have the respect which you deserve of the NPS and if enough folks of your stature looked at this you could make a difference. Most of us joined the NPS because of a commitment to the Agency mission. It is now last in satisfaction for employees and the solutions are not that far out of the box. Most have probably been identified to management but ignored. I replied because your book review could be seen as trying to blunt the points Paul Berkowitz has made which I can't let pass.

This is an important discussion. It is not uncommon for senior managers to have a completely different impression of the agency from field level managers and staff. It is also true that not long ago in NPS history (20 years) the agency was managed by a completely different group of professionals and the majority were truly impressive. This generation was completely different, in terms of commitment and dedication, as well as, their possession of tangible skills. I feel that Rick is probably coming from this perspective, and the tendency to embrace the many positive aspects of his NPS experience and ignore the rest is natural. That is not to say that the problems with the NPS culture, which has resisted change and punished ideas which fell out of the traditional mold, did not occur during this period; they did. However, the quality of the employee and the ethics of the day allowed for mostly professional management. There were still instances of NPS political self-destruction, like with the cases involving Regional Directors Howard Chapman and Loraine Mitzmeyer, to name just a couple. I remember how much fear people expressed at voicing their opposition to these disrespectful and unfair personnel actions. Even then, the NPS exercised a punishing approach to challenging management or expressing opposition. For all the talk about “embracing multiple points of view,” which is imbedded in NPS interpretative philosophy, the NPS does not show this tolerance within its own organization. The issue here is the stubborn reluctance of senior management to acknowledge agency mistakes, failure to promote a culture of character, competence and ethical leadership. It is always about leadership. This is what has changed in the NPS. How we grow, mentor, select and train leaders. We do not do any of it well. We generally select persons who demonstrate effective followership. These are employees who tend to “comply” with those at a higher supervisory level, not experienced leaders with demonstrated experience and ability to inspire people to accomplish bold initiatives. The NPS is running from the Hubble incident. They refuse to discuss it, stating that it is “…an old issue.” Of course, they refused to discuss the issue when it was occurring, stating that it was a “…ongoing or active personnel issue.” Absolute cowards. I appreciate the previous posts and wish it was safe for a current employee to actually use their name, but it is not. This should tell you everything you need to know about the culture of the NPS. We all know the NPS will come after you for speaking out, find something actionable and use the power of the administrative disciplinary process to destroy you. I have seen it dozens of times. When is our leadership going to step-up to the challenge of leading this agency out of this shameful era?

Dave--

Thanks for the kind words. I just finished a term as the chair of the Coalition of National Park Service Retirees, composed of more than 900 former employees of the NPS. While we did not look specifically at this case, we do urge the Naional Park Service to live up to what Director Jarvis has cited as the three basic principles upon which NPS decisions must be made: 1.) accurate fidelity to the law and policy; 2.) the best available sound science and scholaarship; and 3.) in the long-term public interest. Although this happened long before Jarvis became Director, it certainly does not appear to live up to those standards.

I hope you understand that i am not trying to blunt Paul's points. I acknowledge that there is a lot to learn from the book. I am only giving my opinion on a book that I found very interesting.

Rick

To be fair I found this to be a balanced and well considered review.
Berkowitz is an enigma. Certainly he is someone who took on himself the personal mission to take what he felt to be a poor culture of law enforcement in the agency and make it better. Sometimes being the fly in the ointment is the cure after all.
One only has to read a previous book of his, the title of which escapes me at the moment, to practically feel the hurt and anger as he details years of dangerous law enforcement contacts - many of which reulted in the injury of the ranger or worse - made by NPS and other federal land management officers with poor agency support and with inadequate equipment and training. Yes, Paul is and has always been on a mission. But he was always professional about it and it was always FOR the NPS not in spite of it.

It's great to have a discussion with someone like Rick and it's a shame there isn't a process for current employees to connect with management without fear. Ultimately, it's about making the NPS a better agency. It has the world class people- just needs a 21st Century structure to utilize them. Berkowitz's book is a vehicle for discussion. I run a site for retired lawmen from the NPS, USFS and BLM. we share the commraderie and discuss problems in our old agencies etc. I don't have a dog in the race but have always identified with the NPS and I have a perspective of working for multiple Federal Law Enforcement agencies. Paul is no enigma. Doing the right thing should never "puzzle" people. The point is Paul had no choice but to go outside the management because it would have been tabled and covered up. Paul is one brave dude guys and he saved Billy Malone from unwarranted prosecution. He deserves a medal guys. I just wish the NPS managers could use it as a learning experience rather than the "bunker mentality" that is typical. They ignored the OIG report and wish this would go away... and that folks says it all! Rick- thanks for engaging. I wish you were the "typical manager" and not the exception.

Examples abound, if not made institutional, in the DC culture that transparency is the enemy. Can't really blame government agencies their operation model when the top attorneys at DOJ are the examples. Survival skill, really. Those with the transparent genes are hammered. That culture trickles down to the boots on the ground and is not encouraging for the human spirit. Tough living in the dark side so....don't do it:)!

After reading this very good book, it is abundantly clear to me that the NPS demonstrates a pattern of making bad situations worse, though arrogance, stubborn behavior and poor judgment. It was clear at several junctures in this case that the NPS should have reevaluated, changed course and moved on. Instead, they repeated the pattern of trying to win at all cost, which gave rise to a variety of unintended outcomes. It amazes me that NPS leadership allowed these case agents and managers to stubbornly cling to a wrongful prosecution and expose the agency to increased liability. In this case, the NPS continued to allow a bad situation to worsen, over and over again. Instead of adapting when new information came to the fore, they just dug in further – demonstrating clearly that they had a predetermined outcome. When that did not work, they just arranged to get a new investigator. They then pressured / threatened the investigator to make a case against Billy Malone or he would not be able to live with his wife. As the case unraveled, the NPS continued to just dig in, refusing to reevaluate and cut their losses. This bad judgment and behavior, and failure to manage the investigator, led to the no other option reporting to the DOI OIG. This action produced a new unintended consequence, a somewhat independent DOI OIG investigation into the whole matter. Of course, the NPS does not reevaluate and change course, or admit mistakes and end it. Instead, they double down and pressure the DOI OIG to write a favorable report, protecting the NPS principals, and stall its release. When this goes bad and Billy Malone sues, the NPS doubles down again, releasing information which conceals and mischaracterizes the facts of the case. The NPS then fails to manage the whistle blower / investigator, which leads to a tell-all book, and much of the sorted affair being released to the general public. Now that the book is on the street, the NPS does not comment on the issue or take the high road and use the incident to make reforms, and this failure in judgment gives rise and life to an old issue - more unintended consequences. Any manager worth his/her salt would have established an agency work place culture which would not give rise to unethical behavior in the first place. However, admittedly that was asking a lot of former NPS Director, Mainella; there is no excuse of Director Jarvis’ actions. In addition, a good leader would have disciplined those who have allowed this case to balloon into this fiasco, through poor judgment and management. Unfortunately, this pattern of decision making is repeated routinely. At some point, you have to wonder about who is minding the store. What kind of leadership allows bad situations to routinely go from bad to worse, due to arrogance, stubbornness and a refusal to take responsibility for organizational errors?

Rick, now that more than a "few days" have passed since you drafted the above book review, what do you think are the "lessons learned" from this situation?

Don't blame Berko for being a bit on the bitter side. You'd be bitter too if you spent your career trying to put bad people in jail, then see the NPS promote superintendents that grow pot in the park, superintendents that have porn on their computers, the list could go on for hours. All from an agency that gives lip service to high standards.
There's bitter, then there's bitter and doing something about it. Thanks to him and for those like him who take on the ANPR/Yosemite Mafia establishment, and their successors.
And Rick, come on. My wife works at a non-NPS office for a huge corporation. I can count the number of arrested co-workers there on one hand.
From the NPS head investigator, to the head of NPS law enforcement training, to Yosemites head prosecutor, to drunk driving rangers and law enforcement specialists -- the quality and quantity of crooks in the outfit is amazing.

Anon from August 6th--

1. I have learned that it is easy to post comments on NPT hiding under the cloak of anonymity.
2. I have learned that there are people whose experiences, either in the NPS or outside it, are different than mine were. I guess this should not be surprising to me, but the bitterness that some posters express is.
3. I have learned that the "Yosemite mafia", a term coined by a former Associate Director of the NPS I believe, refers to many people who were very successful in their careers and a few who committed crimes. Peole tend to remember the latter group more than the former, again not too surprising.
4. I have come to the conclusion that the NPS has to double down on its leadership training to make sure that the next generation of leaders will concentrate on the three goals that I think each park staff must accomplish: preserve and protect resources; provide high quality visitor services; and maintain productive relationships with park interest groups.
5. I have learned that there will be posters on NPT who will disagree with those three goals and that's ok because it promotes dialog as the above comments demonstrate about important issues.

Rick

Hi Rick, Is Rob Danno part of Yosemite Mafia by chance? Because I don't think those guys are immune to getting crosswise with a politically motivated NPS investigation going horribly awry. To me the Danno fiasco is another "fine" example of NPS managers encouraging federal agents to investigate and prosecute a target (often a whistle-blower) who is eventually redeemed. Theresa Chambers is another truth-teller who was punished by NPS leaders at the highest levels.
http://www.nationalparkstraveler.com/2009/03/showdown-chesapeake-and-ohio-canal-national-historical-park
http://www.journal-news.net/page/content.detail/id/514262.html
Park worker found not guiltyJury finds that National Park Service’s Robert Danno did not steal

Andrea--

No, I don't think that Rob ever worked in Yosemite, at least that I can remember. His case did seem like a hose job from what litlle I knew of it.

Rick

As a 40 year employee of the NPS and one who has always chosen to challenge status quo and tradition (even when, inside, I actually agreed), I thought I would weigh in for a moment. As in any agency, company, community and nonprofit, there are always larger shades of grey than there are black and white. There are "insiders" and "outsiders." People in power surround themselves with clones of themselves, whether good or bad, sometimes referred to as cronyism. It is hard for Anyone not to begin to feel really intelligent and always right when their "circle" verifies it at every turn. I remained on the "outside" on purpose, choosing to allow my career to go sideways, backwards and every once in while, by some fluke, also move up a step. My first year in the agency I was told by an instructor at the Grand Canyon I was not Park Service material. I took that as a compliment. I believe that if everyone in the room is nodding yes to a statement or possible decision, then the wrong people are in the room. All decisions need to be challenged and looked at from a series of perspectives, even when they are uncomfortable. While I continue to be excluded from most decision tables or uninvited when I am accidently included, I will never stop asking "why" or throwing out another perspective. The National Park Service has many flaws. This book demonstrates how group thinking gets any organization into trouble. I love the NPS, most of the employees and every unit (including affiliated units) in the system, particularly the "nontraditional" units. Thank you to the author and his perspective. This is an important book as it just might actually initiate dialogs that are long overdue.

Thanks to National Parks Traveler, this forum provides a mechanism for different perspectives to be voiced and discussed. I understand the need for some readers to voice their opinions and concerns anonymously. If there were not for the fear of administrative retaliation or social isolation by ones peers, it would be easy for those commenting to identify themselves. Nevertheless, when there's blatant wrong doing within a Federal agency, and there's a lack of confidence and distrust with one's administrative chain of command, often the only recourse is to (a) remain silent, or (b) voice one's concerns in an open forum anonymously. However, publically stated negative opinions that originate from employees within the agency are most difficult for an organization like the NPS which prides itself on its established positive public image. Hopefully, Berkowitz's book, and the publicity given to it by National Parks Traveler, followed by the multiple viewpoints and experiences offered in online commentary by anonymous and self-identified readers, will result in an overall positive change within the NPS ranks and organizational culture.

Well, Owen, we're waiting for the epiphany to be received by NPS (or not). I REALLY like to leave the door open for such an occurrence (and will). The challenge for those in command is that so much has been invested in disfunction temptations to grease things into something quite less than transformation. I welcome a change of direction (for the aircraft carrier so to speak) but if the direction is without REAL attempts at righting the wrongs of the principles in the Hubbell screwup and in other National Park holdings by some of the same individuals in other locals, it won't be enough. Just invoking all the pleasing environmental buzz words that are used in many situations to cover this kind of behavior is getting less and less believable. So many want the best for our National Parks but don't like being played.

Read the IG report if you do not believe the Berkowitz book. Everything is in the report.

Hey Hank, sorry if I gave the impression that the book was not believable or factual. I believe it IS . I've had experiences with one of the principles involved and it's quite in his/NPS's character, I believe. A humbling is in order.

All--

I have enjoyed the wide range of comments that my review of Paul's book has generated. I agree with Wind Change. I don't think anyone disputes the fact that this was a poorly conducted investigation that seemed to have been at least tolerated, if not encouraged, by the senior management of the Intrermountain Region. I should add that I have been impressed with the new leadership in that region. Regional Director John Wessels has opened the lines of communications with his superintendents, closed much of the time during the last adminstration of the region, made some very good appointements (see the new superintendent at Grand Canyon), and had the backs of his superintendents who made difficult, but correct, decisions (decision denying a permit for a professional, commercial bike race at Colorado NM).

Let's hope that the NPS has learned a lesson here. If so, there would be at least one positive outcome of this whole affair.

Rick

Okay, something more than direction change would be nice. Reconciliation requires something more for things to be righted. It didn't happen with the retirement of the principles involved and the continued Superintendent status of another. Coming to terms of mistakes requires confession and a request for forgiveness. Otherwise, those that perpetrated the events live with there actions and the victims no longer TRUST. I'm leaving that door open and hope that people man up. It's such a load that is lifted for those on both sides :).

Rick- appointing new people with the "new systems" is pointless and not a long term solution. Special agents need to exist in a structure of extreme accountability. There needs to be a straightline to WASO chain of command of Special Agents; like all other agencioes with Special Agents there needs to be formalized case reviews every 30 days; procedures for opening and closing cases at various levels; budget and equipment costs to fund an investigation and REVIEWS by qualified Special Agents up the chain. This is how you get accountability to manage the "Investigative Power" genie. The ATF case cited above is a problem of Political interference which is not unlike what Berkowitz is pointing out. People with an agenda were able to manipulate an investigator who had little real experience and because of the politics and levels involved it became the NPS equivalent of Operation Fast and Furious. Rick-- changing people with changing the structure is meaningless in preventing another fiasco.

When I read Jarvis' three basic principles, I had to reread a few times. How can this be? You must not be aware of his involvement in the Mt Rainier scandal, when as superintendent and Western Region Director, he approved his assistant's (David Uberuaga who was in charge of concessions) sale of his house to the concessionaire who had a monopoly on the climbing busines for nearly four times it's assessed value. Assessed at $122,400 sold for $425,000! The incident was white washed, Jarvis gave him a reprimand, let him keep the money and later promoted Uberuaga to superintendent of Grand Canyon Nat'l Park. http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/localnews/2016356020_rainier02m.html/ If you can't retrieve it, I have the article. Jarvis has been orchestrating a campaign to destroy a mariculture operation in Pt. Reyes California, Drakes Bay Oyster Company. Don Neubacher, the then superintendent of PRNS got himself in hot water by making false statements to publice officials, conspired to fabricate evidence of harm to harbor seals,altered maps of boundries and didn't tell the CDFG, CDPH , the owner of DBOC, other concerned agencies and much, much more. Jarvis had to get rid of him so he was promoted to Yosemite., another park with huge concessions income. Thanks to the intervention of a highly qualified scientist, the Marin County Board of Supervisors, Senator Diane Feintein, and others, two DOI invesigations ocurred. The first investigation was white washed by the investigator( I am happy to provide you with that information) Following the last investigation in 2010, the field solicitor found "bias", "troubling mindset", "mistakes", "mishandled data", "acting improperly", "willingness to allow subjective beliefs and values to guide scientific conclusions", 'misconduct" and "erring'. Remarkably, or maybe not so, the investigator fails to find "intent to committ scientific misconduct". ( I am in possession of reams of scientific misconduct if you care to examine ). Instead the investigator finds evidence of "administrative misconduct", He never mentions his earlier conclusion that there was clear violation of of the NPS Code of Scientific and Scholarly Conduct. Why am I not surprised? When Jarvis appeared before the congressional committee for confirmation he with the influence of Pete Peterson of the Ocean Studies Board were able to mislead the committee into believing claims of scientific misconduct, conspiracy, and other nefarious acts were without substance. Check out Feinstein's letter to Ken Salazar on Sept. 2, 2011. Under Jarvis' watch, regionally and nationally, he has violated the public trust ...

Rick et al:
Your mention of the Best Places to Work survey (and the recent Morning Report pep talk on same) reminds me of former DOI Inspector General Earl Devaney's Congressional testimony some years ago:

Mr. Chairman and members of the committee, I have served in Federal government for a little over 32 years. I have never seen an organization more unwilling to accept constructive criticism or embrace new ideas than the National Park Service. Their culture is to fight fiercely to protect the status quo and reject any idea that is not their own. Their strategy to enforce the status quo is to take any new idea, such as a law enforcement reform, and study it to death. Thus any IG recommendation or, for that matter, Secretarial directive, falls victim to yet another Park Service workgroup charged by their National Leadership Council to defend the status quo from those of us who just do not understand the complexities of being a ranger.

Earl Devaney, IG for DOI 2003: U.S. Borders: Safe or Sieve

I can't think of a thing that's changed since then. Why does NPS fall so far behind the Bureau of Prison on that survey! Why is there no encouragement of innovation or imagination within NPS from field people? Steve Jobs was quoted as saying that the success of his companies was because the hierarchy of ideas was not the same as the hierarchy of management. A terrific concept NPS is totally deaf to in its ossified top-down management culture.

Grrrrr.

Make no mistake, my more than 40 years as an NPS seasonal has -- and continues to be -- great, but what a moribund and timid bunch tend to accumulate in vital positions of management.

George

Just thought to follow up on this and ask the question of what has happened concerning the Billy Malone law suit against the principle individuals among NPS staff and Federal Judiciary involved. There appears to be an effort to turn a page on this episode in a positive way with more communicative and engaging leadership (my impression). Adding to my interest is how those responsible, both individual and agency, have moved on (beyond my impression).

I am reading the Paul Berkowitz book, "The Case of the Indian Trader" reviewed by Traveler contributing editor Mr Rick Smith. I appreciate Mr. Smith's comments, the book is a riveting read, I simply cannot put it down. I did work with Mr. Berkowitz at Yosemite National Park, but was involved in wilderness management, I did not get involved with Paul and his duties in law enforcement. I did work extensively with Park Ranger Jim Rlley and think Paul summed up things honestly when he indicated his focus (Paul's) was law enforcement while Mr. Riley was more traditional in his interests as a Park Ranger. Mr. Riley is one the finest men I worked with in my career and his confidence in Paul lends much creditability to Paul's book, at least in my own view. But more than that, Paul's book rings true, I am/was acquainted with many of the key players in the book on the NPS side, Paul has articulated the issues well. For those interested in what can go wrong (and then get straightened out by ethical and competent people), this book is a must read. I would like to thank Mr. Berkowitz for his outstanding effort here and hope that Mr. Malone has been made whole again by our legal system.