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Rolf Anderson Oral History Interview, May 15, 2014

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Samuel Schmieding: Good morning, this is Dr. Samuel J. Schmieding, Oregon State University College of Forestry and U.S. Forest Service, here in the home of Rolf Anderson, retired U.S. Forest Service. We are here today on May 15, 2014 in his Alvadore home, and we are going to be doing an oral history interview that is part of the H.J. Andrews History Project, which includes archival rescue and recovery, and creation of a research collection from those records, as well as oral histories. This is one of many oral histories we are doing with Forest Service people, OSU researchers, and other people connected to the Andrews Forest, and related land management and science issues. Anyway, good morning, Rolf, how are you?


Rolf Anderson: Hi, Samuel, yeah, I'm doing good.

SS: All right, very good, excellent. I always like to start these interviews off with a basic biographical question, where you were born and raised, and then you can kind of go off with a biographical sketch on your own terms.

RA: Okay. Well, I was born in Seattle, Washington, 1936. Shortly thereafter, my parents moved to Washington, D.C., where my dad worked with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of Interior, and commercial fisheries. And so, I was raised in Washington, D.C., went up through high school, and graduated in 1953 from Calvin Coolidge High School. And from there, I went up to Pennsylvania and took forestry at Penn State University. At the time, it was Penn State 00:02:00College. I spent five years there, was out of school for a period of time, and graduated with a Bachelor's in Forestry in 1958.

SS: Now, what was your childhood like, especially in relationship to the natural world, whether you're talking about your early years in Washington, but even after you went back to Washington, D.C.?

RA: I had some relation to the natural world. I had an older brother that was, he's a couple years older than me, and we both were in the Boy Scouts. As I recall, I started out in the Cub Scouts and then went up through the Boy Scouts and went up through the ranks there to Eagle Scout. And did some outdoor work there when we'd go on camping trips, and some summer excursions with the 00:03:00Scoutmaster. So, I was involved with outdoor kinds of things.

SS: Do you remember any specific place or experience that was impactful or made a strong impression on you?

RA: Probably not. Not right now anyway. We used to go camping down in Virginia, which I'm thinking back now, I don't think I realized it at the time or thought about it, but I think it was the George Washington National Forest, probably. And those were good camping trips, but I don't recall anything particularly impactful.

SS: Now, was there a time before you entered university where you started thinking about what you ended up doing later in your life, the life of a forester, a park ranger, anything in that basic track, a professional track?


RA: Maybe more on where I wanted to live. My dad's family was in the Seattle area, and my mom's family was in the Portland area. And we would two or three times as I was in junior high and high school, we would take summer trips out to visit those folks and spend a good part of the summer out in the Seattle or Portland area. And I really enjoyed that, I enjoyed the trips driving out and back. We'd go through national parks and visit other kinds of similar areas. So, I always wanted to live in the West. That was my major goal is, when I get out of school, I want to live on the West coast.

SS: So, you liked the big geography of the West?

RA: Right, that's a good way of putting it. Big spaces. Montana, I'd read a lot 00:05:00of novels with Montana and the Rockies as the theme, and I enjoyed that.

SS: Any of those national parks, in particular, make an impression on the drives back and forth?

RA: Well, the Grand Tetons always have been special to me with those magnificent, jagged mountain peaks you just don't see anywhere else. And, of course, Yellowstone was always interesting.

SS: Now, what do you remember your views on what would later be called the environment? It wasn't really a word that was in use like it became later, but do you remember your views on that word and the term, and what it came to mean, "nature," shall we say, when you were younger?

RA: Yeah, I don't know that the term environment was even used back in those 00:06:00days. SS: But you'd use nature, that's why I used that word.

RA: Yeah, the major thing I remember is at that time, Weyerhaeuser Timber Company, had full-page ads in magazines showing clear-cuts with bright green, young-growth growing back, maybe a stump in the foreground, and all these young trees around, and then in the background, the forest, with a mixture of trees and clear-cuts. Their message was they were managing the forest in a proper way, and they were very attractive ads.

SS: And this would have been the '40s?

RA: Late '40s, early '50s, yeah.

SS: So, they were basically selling the positive image of what we'd call "Industrial Forestry"?

RA: Of managing.

SS: Managed Forestry.

RA: Managing forests, and it was very attractive to a young kid. You know, I 00:07:00thought, "Boy, that's gorgeous country. It makes sense. I'd like to be part of that."

SS: Now, because you had this split childhood, how would you compare what you saw in the East, and you mentioned Virginia, with what you remember or saw in the Pacific Northwest, the Cascades and even the Rockies, because you're going back and forth across the country?

RA: Well, it was a matter of scale. Everything was bigger in the West. There are broader expanses, bigger mountains, larger forested areas, clean rivers, big rivers, flowing blue water. You didn't see a lot of that back East. So, it was just less people. It was just very, very attractive to me.


SS: How do you think the location of your formative years, and in your case, being bi-coastal, affected your views on ecology, science, and a career in forestry? I mean, you already mentioned big geography and things like that, but going from the Northwest, the big nature, back to the center of politics. And obviously, you were a young kid and intellectually developing, but how do you think that bi-coastal dynamic affected what and how you learned when you were at the university and professionalizing yourself, and then, even as your career advanced?

RA: Oh, I don't know, that's a tough question. I don't know that there was a lot of thought on my part in my high school years about what was going on in the environment and ecology and that kind of thing. I just kind of took life as it 00:09:00came, and then enjoyed doing the things I did, enjoyed going out west. Yeah, I didn't do a lot of deep thinking in those days.

(Break in audio)

SS: We're back on, yes.

RA: Let me just add something that maybe relates to that last question, but something that's always bothered me deep into my career, actually, but started in high school. Folks would say, "What do you want to do when you get out into the world? You know, what's your goals?" And I didn't know what I wanted to do. I always thought, "Well, God, there's lot of things going on now, but ten years from now there's things going on that nobody's aware of right now. How can I say this is what I want to do when I don't know all the options?" And early on, I 00:10:00developed a philosophy, you know, I want to take advantage of whatever's there at the time and grow in what I was doing, and be ready for the next step. So, that was the extent of my deep thinking.

SS: When you entered the university system, did you know you wanted to study forestry and land management, or did that develop over your first year or two or three?

RA: Well, you had to know initially, going to Penn State. Their first, their freshman year for forestry students was off-campus. It was in a small, little town in southern Pennsylvania called Mont Alto. And it was where there was a private forestry school started in the early 1900's, and in the 1920's, it merged with Penn State. And so, they used that as the introduction to forestry your freshman classes there. We started out with close to a hundred students in 00:11:00the fall, and by June when we finished that first year, we were probably down to 60-something.

SS: So, what did they do that first year, they'd get you out into the field a lot, a lot of hands-on stuff?

RA: Some hands-on. Lots of, I think, we were like over 20 credits, or close to 20 credits per term, and it seemed like we went to school from 8:00 to 5:00, and then had homework. It was pretty intense. And we had biology, chemistry, physics; outdoor practicums.

SS: It sounds like a pretty-intense indoctrination into the university system?

RA: Well, it was. And I guess, some of that was probably to weed out the folks that weren't sure they wanted to do that. But it was just focused on forestry.


SS: Now, what do you remember about the forests of Pennsylvania, the northern Appalachia, if you will, the Alleghenys or wherever you were. How was that different, obviously, a lot more hardwoods?

RA: Many, many, many, many more species than you have out West.

SS: All right.

RA: I really didn't think about that difference a lot at the time, but you know, we had dendrology classes, and you had to learn trees and learn the Latin names of trees. And after I got out west and taught the folks who'd gone to Oregon State, I thought, "Holy mackerel, you guys had it easy in learning trees out here. You just have a handful." And back there, dozens and dozens of trees. So, and the trees weren't as big, of course. Most of the logging was, a lot of it was situated towards pulpwood, growing pulpwood, although there were some in there, black cherry and some of the oaks and those hardwoods, were for furniture 00:13:00and other lumber uses.

SS: Now, what were some of your career and role models at that time as you were developing in school, either in the university at Penn State, or even people that you started reading about in the textbooks or public figures in land management and the like?

RA: Well, there was a fellow named Maurice Goddard, who had been head of the Forestry School at Penn State for a number of years. And by when I entered Penn State, he was the head of the, I forget what they call it, but it was the Department of Resources for the state [Pennsylvania]. He was always talked-up very positively by faculty, and he came to the school several times. And it was 00:14:00obvious that he was a very well-respected guy and deservedly so. So, he was kind of a guy you looked at. And then Gifford Pinchot was strong in Pennsylvania. You know, his family was in the northeast part of the state. He came back and was governor in the '30s after his Forest Service work. So, that was another figure. And then I think as part of our schoolwork, I don't remember exactly, but I'm sure we read Breaking New Ground, Pinchot's initial autobiography about his work with the Forest Service. So, those were the influences.

SS: Yeah, Pinchot is the indispensable icon of anybody that grew up in the Forest Service, especially before the 1970's.

RA: Right.

SS: Before we started criticizing philosophies of an earlier era.


RA: Yeah, which we're kind of cycling back to now in some ways.

SS: How so?

RA: Well, just in conservation in, let's say, back starting in '70s, conservation was starting to take on a negative connotation because it meant cutting trees. And we're kind of getting back to that. Well, you know, we need to do management of forests in a conservative way, in order to have healthy stands of forests.

SS: Yeah, I think the word conservation was almost a philosophical semantical splitting of hairs there for a while, where even though conservation in the early days included both utilitarian forestry and land management, as well as preservation, and later on, preservation became environmentalism and conservation became something looked at like you were talking about. Now, what 00:16:00were the key management paradigms in forestry and land management that you learned or embraced as a student?

RA: Oh, like what, give me an example?

SS: Well, obviously, there's multiple-use, and any of the Gifford Pinchot-isms and the things that came out of what was, you know, central ideology and beliefs and management practices in the Forest Service, but anything else that came your way?

RA: Yeah, that's one of those questions that you probably really think of some good answers a couple days from now. But multiple-use. I don't know that the School of Forestry at Penn State used multiple-use, because that was kind of a Forest Service term. But their focus was on managing the forest.


SS: Right.

RA: Managing, determining what products, variety of products, you could get from the forest in active management. And so that was a strong tenet and then, of course, in those days fire control and fire management was a strong tenet.

SS: So, there wasn't so much focus on recreation and the other uses of the forest that became more important in the '50s and '60s, you know, both in laws, but also in practices within the Forest Service?

RA: Yeah, at that time, Penn State had a separate school for wildlife and fisheries biologists. They weren't even melded after, some years after I graduated, they finally melded those programs together. But those were separate degree paths.

SS: Right. So, if you were going to state your program of study and the things 00:18:00you learned at Penn State, you know, looking back, how would you describe your general program of study, your subjects, and what you learned, and maybe what you didn't learn, and would only learn when you became a professional?

RA: Well, I wasn't a very good student, to be honest with you. I got through. But when I graduated, I just wanted to get to work. I wanted to get out and do applied work. And my parents, I remember them asking me, saying, "Are you interested in graduate work?" And, no way, that wasn't anywhere on my agenda. I just wanted to do applied work out in the field. I had a thought there, but I've kind of lost it now.

Thinking about the field of study and what I'd learned, and how I applied that. 00:19:00It was a general field of study. We had dendrology, silviculture, forest economics, all those kind of subjects, but I had problems relating those to the real world and to application. And like I think I said earlier, I was really focused on getting out of school and working, doing things, making things happen. And things, you know, I think over time, things change. It wasn't unique to my period or necessarily of coming out of school and working, but there was change in looking at how you managed forests continuously. And so, you had a basic background of what a forest is and what the interrelationships are in a forest, but lots of on-the-job learning and applying, and looking at new approaches and those kinds of things has gone on through my whole career.


SS: Obviously, didn't learn that till you left and got out in the field, but in retrospect, what were some of the things that you didn't learn?

RA: I didn't learn?

SS: Yeah, that only the "life of hard knocks" or experience would teach you?

RA: Well, this is probably what you've heard a lot, dealing with the public, working with people that don't necessarily agree with what you think your approach ought to be.

SS: Trees don't talk back, right?

RA: Right, working with the public and public speaking, that kind of thing. Oh, I did take a speech course in school. Dealing with people, those kind of things, I think is what really, the Forest Service is really good at, short-term training sessions and bringing you along in those things. But we didn't get them at Penn State.

SS: Can you think of any foundational pivotal experiences in the university 00:21:00aside from just your classes and what you took that affected you as you went forward, any specific interactions, hearing a famous speaker, a field trip, a special summer program, something like that?

RA: Probably not really. Although the Mont Alto experience where you spent nine months with 60 to 80 people, close quarters, going, living with and going to school with, was a unique experience. And not just for me, it's you establish relationships there that just stay with you through life. And I went to a reunion, I guess, it was a 50-year reunion a few years ago, and some folks, I had kept contact with and knew as I matured. Some, I hadn't seen since I left 00:22:00Penn State, but I recognized them instantly and was able to sit down and talk with them like we had been lifelong friends visiting. So, that was a unique experience. And then we had a summer camp one summer for a couple months up in northwestern Pennsylvania that, where we actually did get out and surveyed a tract of land and cruised it and made a management plan. That was a worthwhile experience.

SS: So, what thought did the term "forestry" illicit when you were young, and then when you were a college student? When you thought of forestry, how would you have thought about that?

RA: Well, to be honest with you, I kind of backed into going into forestry at 00:23:00Penn State. It was the best alternative arrayed against others that I definitely didn't want to do. My brother went into engineering. And I looked at what he was doing in school and I thought, I just couldn't relate to that. I just said, "Nah, there's no interest there in physics and chemistry and those kind of things. No interest." And in talking with my parents, they would say, "Well, you know, you've had your Boy Scout experiences and you enjoyed those, maybe you're interested in forestry?" I said, "Oh, okay." I can't think of anything negative about that, let's give it a try. And of course, I really grew to love it, the more I got deeper and deeper into it.

SS: How much do you think you were affected by the advertising, the propaganda, the presentation of the "noble forester." I mean, both the Park Service and the Forest Service, at different times there were certain presentations to the 00:24:00public of the forester or the park ranger working and doing good deeds. Do you remember that? You mentioned the Weyerhaeuser ad earlier, but I assume maybe you read an article in some magazine or something like that?

RA: You know, that doesn't trigger anything when I was in high school or at Penn State. Although, like I said earlier, I did like reading stories about the fur trapper days of the West, and the developing of the West, and when the Caucasians first moved into the Rockies and the Pacific Northwest. I really enjoyed reading about that and things related to that. So, that was one thing that drove me wanting to get into the Pacific Northwest or Rocky Mountains. But 00:25:00as far as the noble forest ranger, that didn't come on till I was actually working for the Forest Service.

SS: But you know what I'm talking about in terms of the advertising and the propaganda about the nobility of these careers and the people doing this work?

RA: Oh, yeah, and I saw that. I worked with some really great mentors that who had been in the Forest Service, not in the very early days, but in the, dating back to the '30s. And I really admired those folks. They had a strong work ethic, strong environmental ethic. They embodied that noble forest ranger.

SS: But back in those days, there was also a real strong esprit de corps?

RA: Oh, yeah.

SS: Of the Forest Service. I mean, it was quasi-military, but it was different than that. It was a certain culture that was very strong, and very unified.

RA: Well, that was strong all the way up through, I think, probably into the 00:26:00'90s. And then there was a number of things that kind of weakened and diluted that. But in my early years in the Forest Service, that esprit de corps was very strong.

SS: Now, before we get into your professional life, I want to ask you one more philosophical question. How would you characterize your environmental ethic and philosophy at this early stage in your career, let's say, as a college student, and then, right into your early professional years?

RA: I think I was, though I wouldn't describe it in these terms back in those days, but it was environmentally bent towards being careful how many trees you cut and where you're cutting them. I think that was it overall, you know, to 00:27:00preserve the forests. But counter to that, I remember driving through Yellowstone Park on the way to a summer job. I had two summer jobs out in the Northwest. Driving through Yellowstone Park and seeing these forests stacked with dead lodgepole pine. You know, even back in those days, that was back in the late '50s. And it finally caught up to them, with the great fires that we had back in when was it, the '90s, I guess.

SS: You're talking about the lodgepole?

RA: Dead lodgepole.

SS: That bunched together so tight? RA: Just fall over and it'd be waist-deep on the ground. And I was thinking, just I remember thinking, "Man, what's going to happen here?" What's the final outcome of all this dead, dry wood?

SS: We found out in, what was it, 1988, with that big fire? [Yellowstone Fire]


RA: Yeah, I guess it was the late '80s. But, so that kind of clashed with my, I think, my overall philosophy of being careful about cutting trees.

SS: Okay. Let's go on to your professional life. How did you become a Forest Service person? And where was that transition from college to Forest Service, was there an internship or some kind of a summer job, or how did that happen?

RA: Well, I had that drive to live in the Pacific Northwest, a very, very strong drive. And when I met my wife in college and we got married before I graduated, right from the start, I said, "You know, if you hook up with me, we're moving west."

SS: Where was your wife from?

RA: Pittsburgh.

SS: She was a Pennsylvania girl.

RA: She was, but she said, "Fine, I want to, that's great with me."


(Break in audio)

SS: Okay, continue. We're talking about you meeting your wife and telling her that you had to move out West?

RA: Yeah. But I forgot the basic question we were on?

SS: Well, the basic question was, is how the transition happened, from your college to the Forest Service, and what was the plan or the internship or the first job or --?

RA: Well, that was the strong driver, to move to the Pacific Northwest. So, there weren't a lot of options there, there was big lumber companies and there was the Forest Service. My grades weren't very good until my last year, and so, I got married, I settled down, and had really-good grades. But I wasn't an attractive person to a potential employer. I did do some interviews with the 00:30:00Pennsylvania State Department of Forestry, or whatever they were called at the time, and took a test there, but I knew that they weren't going to be looking at me. I knew my fellow classmates. And I knew how many people they were going to be looking at, maybe a dozen or fifteen, and I just wasn't in that group, which didn't bother me a lot because I wanted to go West.

SS: You didn't want to be in academics, so you wanted to go out and do something in the field?

RA: Right. And I'd worked two summers in the West. I worked up on the Olympic Peninsula one summer for the Forest Service, and I worked out of Roseburg one summer for the Forest Service. So, I kind of knew that agency. And so, I applied. At that time, you filled out a Civil Service exam, which wasn't really an exam, it was just a form with your qualifications on it. And the first job 00:31:00offer I got was from the Bureau of Indian Affairs to be a forester out of Browning, Montana, on the east side of the northern Rockies, on the Blackfeet Reservation. And I thought about that a while, and I thought, you know, we had a child right after we graduated in July, and I said, "You know, I want to go West, but that's really pushing the envelope," in the Northwest with, not a strong agency, and a really different culture. And so, I waited a while, and then I got an offer from the Forest Service for the Lewis & Clark National Forest in central Montana in a little town, White Sulphur Springs. But I took that.

And what I benefited from at that point, that time, that was 1958, the Forest 00:32:00Service was really starting to ramp up timber harvest. It had been growing through the '50s with all the folks coming out of World War II, the veterans that went to Forestry School, and the demand nationally just to open up the National Forests, not only for timber, but for recreation purposes, to get roads in the National Forests and to harvest timber to feed the housing industry. And so, there was, the boom was starting, and the Forest Service was hiring folks, even folks with mediocre grades like me they took a chance on.

SS: So, you were in, what was the town again?

RA: White Sulphur Springs.

SS: Now, White Sulphur Springs is close to Missoula or Helena?

RA: No, Helena's the largest big town, but Helena's probably an hour-and-a-half 00:33:00away. It's [White Sulphur Springs] out on the open plains. If you really look, you can see some trees from White Sulphur Springs. But if you go over the ridge, then there's forest land, lots of lodgepole pine, some larch and other kind of conifers. And the Forest Service had sold a multi-year, large timber sale to establish a mill in White Sulphur Springs. It was a stud mill. And so, that's why they were hiring foresters to help produce the timber to feed that mill. SS: And what was your job description at that time?

RA: Well, I was a "junior forester." I was the first extra forester that the district had ever had. They had a district ranger, they had an assistant 00:34:00district ranger, they had a couple of not full-time technicians, they had an office clerk, and that was about it. And so, I was the forester hired to work on timber sales.

SS: And what was your impressions of that place, the small town, but also the area that you were managing?

RA: Well, I loved small towns. I don't like big towns. I like the small-town atmosphere. I liked the fact that you knew a lot of people. We made good friends with a ranch owner, who invited us out for the spring roundup where you branded calves and de-horned calves. And that was really enjoyable, but it was tough 00:35:00living for a couple of folks that had a less-than-a-year-old baby that had grown up in the East and they're used to all the urban kind of things.

SS: How did you deal with the winters?

RA: The winters were tough. The wind, you know, we were on the east side of the Rockies. The wind blew all the time, blew and blew and blew. Our young daughter seemed to always have a cold or have some health problems. And given that, plus the Forest Service culture, to me, in Montana, was very local, Montana-oriented. They had two forestry schools in Montana.

SS: In Bozeman and Missoula, right?

RA: Bozeman and Missoula, Montana State and Montana. And as folks from the regional office [Region 1] in Missoula would come out and visit the forest, and 00:36:00we had, there were three or four districts on the Lewis & Clark that had hired, each had hired a new forester. Most of the ones they had hired were from Montana or Montana State, and as we got together and interacted and went to training sessions in Missoula, it just looked to me like the management regime in that region was really favoring local graduates. I mean, it wasn't that I didn't feel welcome, I made some good friends there, but I just thought, "You know, this is going to be a tough show." And I really wanted to get out to the West Coast. So, after a year, I resigned, and moved out to Eugene, looked for a job, and I thought, "Well, maybe forestry isn't for me. I want to get back, and history has 00:37:00always been a strong interest with me." And I said, "Oh, maybe I'll get a Master's in History at the University of Oregon." So, when I came out, I came out in June and started looking for jobs. Every place I looked for a job, a summer job, gave people my background, they said, "Well, you need to go to the Forest Service to get a job." Finally I said, "Well, okay."

SS: So, you came to Eugene because of the University of Oregon, or just because you thought it would be a cool place to live?

RA: And because I wanted to live on the West Coast.

SS: Okay.

RA: So, I went into the local Forest Service office here in Eugene. This was in June. Actually, I came out a week in late spring before I had resigned in Montana, because I wanted to make sure I had something to come to. And I talked 00:38:00to a local guy in the Eugene office and he said, "Well, they're hiring up at Oakridge. Go up and talk to the Oakridge District Ranger." He set that up, and I went up there, and the guy said, "Yeah, we need somebody this summer. We'll hire you." So, I said, "Okay."

SS: So, you had been unemployed, or you resigned for about a month or thereabouts?

RA: Well, yeah, several weeks. See, I had secured that summer job before I resigned in Montana.

SS: Oh, okay.

RA: So, then I went back to Montana and I talked to my ranger, and I said, "You know, I just think I need to pursue other options and I'm going to resign in early June."

SS: But what did you learn that one year in Montana? If you were going to say, that's what I learned during that one year, other than the fact that all the graduates from Montana and Montana State [universities] were peopling the Forest 00:39:00Service in that area?

RA: Yeah, and that was an observation. That didn't dwell in me a lot. What happened during that year is, like I said, they hired, each district hired a new, brand-new forester to work on timber sales, and then six months into the year, they ran out of money. So, they hired these foresters betting on the funding, but the full funding didn't come. And so, I worked through the winter, went out in the woods with the construction crew and helped them build a bridge. The carpenter came down from Great Falls, and we built a garage for the district ranger. I just did anything there was, and I felt kind of bad about it because this lack of money, they had to pay me because I was a full-time person, and that meant their less-than-full-time people were laid off earlier than normal, 00:40:00because they had to pay me. And I felt uncomfortable about that. So, what did I learn? I learned that life is different than you might expect and you roll with the punches. And if you don't like what you're doing, then you get up and do something else.

SS: And that the "Big Sky Country" really is true to its name. Big sky, right?

RA: Oh, yeah. I had some great times. Back in those days, safety, I won't say it was ignored, but it wasn't a real-strong issue. And you would go out by yourself, and they'd say, "Go up here, you know, with a chainsaw and cut some of the trees that have mistletoe in them and some of these old clear-cuts." And you'd be out there working all by yourself with a chainsaw and, nobody thought anything about it. Well, you had to be hardy to live in eastern Montana in White 00:41:00Sulphur Springs. And I like to think I was hardy. I enjoyed that challenge. But it was tough on my wife and tough on my kid.

SS: So, you came here and applied for a position in the Lowell district. Correct?

RA: Oakridge.

SS: Oakridge, excuse me.

RA: It was a summer job.

SS: Okay.

RA: And so, I worked that summer and I was in charge of a survey crew surveying the first proposed road into Waldo Lake. Though, at that time, there were very few roads in the National Forests, very few roads in the Willamette National Forest. You had mainline roads up the main streams, and that was about it. So, I was in-charge of a survey crew. Then came fall, school started at the University of Oregon. So, I said, "We're going through with the school thing." And my summer job ended. We moved into Eugene, and I went to school for a few weeks and 00:42:00then that got me to thinking, "Now, what am I going to do when I finish this schooling?" And I went in and I talked to my advisor, and he said, "There ain't a whole lot a history major can do." And I said, hum, this is going to take, and he said, I thought I could do it in a year, and it turned out it was going to take more than a year. And so, there were some more negatives stacking up, so I went back up to Oakridge and talked to the ranger there. And again, good fortune has followed me a lot through life. They had hired a junior forester that summer, and he got drafted. So, that fall, they were looking for a junior forester. So, that was me. I said, "Okay."

SS: So, how did you avoid the selective service? You weren't that old back then, either.

RA: I had a kid.

SS: Ah, I got you.

RA: So, I came back, and said, "Okay." I liked the people I was working with, 00:43:00had good friends among those folks. They liked what I was doing. They wanted me to come back.

SS: So, you lived in Oakridge for a while?

RA: So, we moved back to Oakridge and lived there for six years.

SS: Now, this was the era when Oakridge and Westfir, the company town, were really booming?

RA: There was two mills there, Hines Lumber Company was in Westfir, Pope & Talbot was in Oakridge. And they both employed between mill-workers and woods-workers, they both had woods-working crews where they logged their own timber, probably 300 to 500 people each. And Oakridge was a booming town. It was a very prosperous town.

SS: Were you there when the above-ground gas tank exploded?

RA: Down in Willamette City?

SS: Or somewhere right there in Roseburg, I mean, in Oakridge.

RA: Yeah.

SS: Yeah? Were you there when that happened?


RA: Yeah, I was there. I remember we had a couple of Forest Service fire tankers there. I wasn't working with them, but I was a spectator watching that burn, yeah.

SS: I remember going with my family somewhere up into the mountains and we saw the aftermath of that, like, it leveled half a city block or something, didn't it?

RA: Yeah. Right, I remember that.

SS: But tell me more about your experiences there. You were there how many years again? RA: Six years.

SS: Six years.

RA: I was there from '59 to I think, '66 probably, '65 or '66.

SS: And tell me about it, it was a boom town. I mean, Westfir, Oakridge, two big mills, it was the go-go era. And what was the town like, but what was also the Forest Service culture and your job like during that era?

RA: Well, the town was very active, very positive. There were good places to 00:45:00eat, and an active social life. I joined the Junior Chamber of Commerce, so I made some good community friends my age that weren't part of the Forest Service. The Forest Service was a big part of the community. They had, at that time, they had three ranger districts there. They had the Oakridge District, which took the North Fork and the Middle Fork of the Willamette. They had the Rigdon Ranger District which was the Middle Fork of the Willamette. And then they pared off for a short period of time, the Salt Creek District, which included Salt Creek, Highway 58 and Hills Creek, the next drainage to the south. And that's where I worked. I worked on the Salt Creek District from beginning to end. It was only in existence for probably five or six years. One day I came into the office and 00:46:00after work, and they said, "Well, you don't work here anymore. You work for the Rigdon District." Because they'd dissolved the Salt Creek District. And I had the same job, did the same things, but they had done some consolidation.

SS: Now, at that time, was the Fall Creek Reservoir, had that been built yet?

RA: No, Fall Creek, they were just finishing the Hills Creek Reservoir, actually.

SS: And of course, Dexter and Lookout Point were before that?

RA: Yeah, they were. They were in the late '40s or early '50s. They were just, when I first got to Oakridge, they were just completing the dam [Hills Creek] and the clearing of the area. There was no filling up of the reservoir, but of course, within a year or two, they did fill up the reservoir. And my job, what they called pre-sale, getting timber sales, preparing them to sell to, for under contract to be logged.

SS: In other words, you would go out and do a rough assessment/inventory of what 00:47:00was there?

RA: Right. And we would look for, of course, the most mature timber, the best timber, and then some stands were what we called over-mature, the tops were starting to die. They were old-growth trees. And so, I said, "We need to harvest those." And clean that area up. But what was really-great about the job was, as I said earlier, there wasn't much of a road system. We were putting in the road system, miles and miles of road off the main-haul highways. And it was all walking and all foot.

SS: So, you did a lot of survey work then?

RA: Well, I did a lot of cross-country, just looking at the country, trying to figure out the best route for the road. We would mark the route with a plastic 00:48:00flag. You know, you'd see different colored plastic flags. And we went through rolls and rolls of that plastic flagging marking the route. Then we did do some surveys, but then there were other crews, engineering crews, that would come in, and that got more and more sophisticated. Initially, when I was running a survey crew, we had a compass that sat on a pole, and you looked through it. And you know, they got into more sophisticated instruments over time. But it was, I don't want to say we were traveling in country that nobody's ever seen before, but very few people. We were really --

SS: It felt that way at times?

RA: We were really, far, far off. Sometimes, we'd hike for several hours just to get to the job.

SS: Now, you said about the first road into Waldo Lake. You were a part of that. 00:49:00That's become kind of a cause célèbre of preservation [regarding no motor rules on lake] in a more modern era. What do you remember about Waldo Lake, seeing it for the first time?

RA: Oh, it was awesome. Big lake. We came into it from the south end. And you'd look and it'd just, you'd heard a lot about Waldo Lake, I mean. Waldo Lake was a major feature even in those days, and not very accessible. But it was impressive, yeah.

SS: Now, have they ever allowed motorboats on that lake, or is that just a recent fight over keeping them from coming back?

RA: No, they did allow motorboats for a long time.

SS: That's what I thought. So, tell me about the timber work that you did, a little bit more?

RA: We had aerial photos and we had contour maps, and we had the old survey records. The land survey was conducted in this part of the country, probably 00:50:00from the 1860's into the late 1800's. There were some good records.

SS: You're talking about the U.S.G.S.? [United States Geological Survey]

RA: U.S.G.S. So, we could read those records and get an idea of what the country was like, and what the vegetation was like. And of course, we had to reestablish all those section corners just to tie into the road survey and those kind of things. So, we would look at the aerial photos and look at what looked like the best kind of stands we would want to look at to harvest on a priority basis, look at the contour maps to see how we might access those stands, and then go out on the ground and see if that fit. See if what we thought we could do in the office fit on the ground. And sometimes it did, and sometimes it didn't.

SS: Okay, continue on about the timber sale work?


RA: Well, a lot of the work was just working outside every day. (Phone rings) Oh, I won't get it, but it's going to ring.

(Break in audio)

SS: Back on. Okay.

RA: Well, so we worked outdoors. Worked with a crew of folks, identifying timber, putting boundary signs up around clear-cuts. The method of harvesting is clear-cutting. Surveying the boundary. Making, drawing up maps of the proposed timber sale. Putting together the timber sale contract, and that was the job. In the fall, we would burn slash. Everybody, no matter what their job was, we'd get 00:52:00together and we'd burn slash on logged-over units. Everybody worked on fire. If there was a fire, that was the top priority. Locally, I worked in fire and was sent off the district to what at that time, we called them project fires. Now, I think they call them incidents.

SS: Now, did you have any really-big fires that you had to deal with during that time when you were at Oakridge?

RA: Not on the forest, not at Oakridge. But I did go over to some big fires in eastern Oregon and over in Idaho.

SS: When was the Oxbow fire, which was just south of where you were, I believe? Wasn't that in the Cottage Grove area?

RA: No. Oxbow was actually in the Coast Range.

SS: Okay, my mistake.

RA: North of Reedsport and south of Veneta.

SS: Okay.

RA: In that country. And I was in Oakridge at the time. And at the time, it was 00:53:00all mostly on Bureau of Land Management land. And I remember at the time thinking, "How could the Coast Range have that big of a fire?"

SS: Because of how much rain it got. Correct?

RA: Because of all the rain, yeah. But then as I became more knowledgeable about local conditions, that's how the Coast Range burns, in big fires, big, catastrophic fires, as opposed to the small, little fires.

SS: And of course, going back to the classic fire in Oregon history, well, there was more than one, but the Tillamook Burn [Several big fires in 1930s].

RA: Yeah, Tillamook, right, yeah. And that was a Coast Range burn.

SS: Right. I was going to ask you when we were talking about Montana, and now that we're talking about fire, but what do you remember the memories of people, and how it affected the cultures about, what they often called the "Big Blow-Up of 1910," which was the big fires across the upper Rocky Mountain states that really created the fire suppression culture and policy of the Forest Service?


RA: Yeah, I've done a lot of reading of Forest Service history. And even back then, the fires of 1910 were part of the culture of the Forest Service, and people talked about it and you read about it. And then, the reading I've done in later years showed that every Forest Service chief, but maybe one from 1910 till deep into the 1930's, was in Region 1 and associated with that 1910 fire in one way or another. So, it made a great impression on those folks and those that eventually became chief, and that established our fire policy of fires needing to be put out by 10:00 the next morning.

SS: In other words, fire suppression at all costs?

RA: Right.

SS: And looking back at it through the lens of a full career and when beliefs 00:55:00started to change about management, how can you see how that policy, actually, in many ways, would come back to bite people later on?

RA: Well, that was a one-solution-fits-all. And that doesn't work very well in life and in a lot of ways. So, the fact of putting the fire out early still has a lot of credence, because the costs mushroom, the longer the fire goes on, the rate of the costs. And they just, grow exponentially over time. And so, it makes a lot of sense to put a fire out when it's small. But also, that coincided with some really-wet years in the '40s and '50s and '60s, so the forests had a lot of 00:56:00growth and a lot of flammable material produced, at the same time we're putting fires out and not letting natural fires burn in small ways, so they weren't catastrophic.

SS: The fuel load built up, decade after decade.

RA: The fuel load built up, and then fires became catastrophic just because of the heavy fuel loads.

SS: Now, what's the first catastrophic fire that you remember, that you actually were more directly involved with? You talked about the Oxbow, but maybe in a forest you were working in?

RA: Yeah. Anthony Lakes, which is a small ski area over in eastern Oregon in the Wallowas east of, well, actually, I think it maybe is in the Whitmans.

SS: It's in the Blues [group of mountains in NE Oregon/SE Washington.]

RA: It's in the Blues.

SS: Right.


RA: And that was a major project fire. I was sent over there and that was the first big fire I'd been on. I thought fighting fires was tough work. It was, over there you're in that deep, pumice soil, and it gets, once you stir it up and walk through it or dig a fire line through it, it's pumice dust and dirt and you've worked long hours. You'd go back to the fire camp, and the fire camp was noisy 24 hours a day. Generators running, crews coming and going, vehicles coming and going. You couldn't get much rest.

SS: You'd sleep from exhaustion?

RA: The food wasn't great. I mean, it's still, still tough enough work, but you know, now they have showers, they have catered meals. It's a whole different fire camp situation than when I was there.

SS: Now, when you were a younger forester, did they cycle a lot of you guys into 00:58:00these fire situations when you were still young?

RA: Well, going to a fire was part of your job. I mean, there was a fire organization, pumper crews and those kind of things, but fires were staffed by just whoever was working on the ranger district.

SS: So, age was not a consideration?

RA: Not really.

SS: Unless you were really, really, old, right?

RA: Yeah. Well, I was still back in the day Anthony Lakes was, when the Forest Service needed manpower, they would take a big stake truck and drive the Portland backstreets. And the winos, at that time we didn't call them homeless, they would just load them into the truck and say, "We got a fire," and probably half of them would be good workers. Half of them weren't. This is a true story. 00:59:00When I was at Anthony Lakes, and I'd come back off the fire, in the fire camp there'd be a few folks sitting around, and they didn't even know where they were.

SS: Because they'd just pull them off the streets?

RA: They just pulled them off the streets. But that was --

SS: But they paid them?

RA: From 1910 on, that was --

SS: But they would pay them. Right?

RA: Oh, yeah, they paid them. That was the source of fire crews, going and finding the unemployed, and taking them out to the fire.

SS: So, the professionalization of firefighting crews that you see now across the West, for however many months a year those people that are like on-call, and that was the last 40 years maybe, or 30-40 years?

RA: Well, that started growing, I worked over on the Malheur Forest in the late '60s and early '70s, and that was about when they really started building fire, 01:00:00separate organization fire crews on a ranger district, and they weren't looking for pulling timber management people or engineering people into fires near as much. They were building their own organization.

SS: What do you remember about science and the role it had in the Forest Service and your specific work at that time?

RA: Well, we had access to specialists or scientists that generally worked in the regional office in Portland, you know, like pest management, insect folks, silviculturists, reforestation experts, those kind of folks. And if you needed help or consultation, you could generally get a hold of somebody and they would 01:01:00come out on the district for a day and work with you. But that was probably our major use of scientists.

SS: Did you know of the PNW Station or the Andrews at that time in your early years?

RA: Oh, yeah, we did. There was some interaction, but not a lot. They were kind of two separate cultures. You know, the National Forest was a can-do production organization, had high targets, timber-oriented in a lot of ways. So we were producing, we were doing work on the ground. The research folks were kind of looking out ahead and had different things driving them.

SS: Was there a competitive dynamic between the "pointy-head academics" and the 01:02:00guys in the field, do you remember, that kind of a thing?

RA: No, I don't, not so much. Probably, there was some undertones there, but there was just more, different cultures, different objectives, different things, driving the groups. And so, there'd be some interaction like at Society of American Foresters' meetings. There'd be researchers from the H.J. Andrews and Corvallis there. And there'd be ranger district folks there. But not a lot of interaction.

SS: And speaking about either the Andrews or any of the other experimental forests, and there's obviously, Cascade Head, South Umpqua, Andrews, I'm thinking kind of the triangulation of this area. What do you remember knowing about those places and why they were there, when you were an early career 01:03:00forester, in your first decade?

RA: Well, probably my greater familiarity was with H.J. Andrews, and it was there to test, initially they were testing different timber harvest regimes, size of clear-cuts, and that kind of thing. Then they kind of morphed into looking at riparian areas and managing around streams, and the temperatures in streams that were affected by timber harvesting. So, we knew that was going on. And occasionally, folks from there, would at different get-togethers, share what they were doing and talk about it. But from my perspective where I was working, there wasn't a whole lot of direct hands-on interaction. There certainly would have been more on the Blue River Ranger District where it housed the H.J. Andrews.

SS: So, tell me about your evolution from Oakridge, you mentioned in eastern 01:04:00Oregon and some other things, take me through the next couple stations, for instance, or postings?

RA: Well, I was at Oakridge for six years, and then a job administering timber sales, different from preparing them. Once the contract was sold, then you had to make sure the contract provisions were met by the logger. And I'd never got into that, and a job, that kind of a job came open at Sweet Home and I put in for it, and then got that job. So, I worked there a couple years, but I had to do that. I had to go out of the Forest Service. This is a Civil Service classification. I had to be a forestry technician, because that's the way the job was set up. And that really made the Forest Supervisor Dave Gibney, uncomfortable that here was a guy with a college degree, a forester, working in 01:05:00a non-forester job.

So, after a couple years, a forestry job heading up timber management on the Detroit Ranger District east of Salem came open, and he put me in that job. He said, "Now, you've got to go back to being a forester." So, I took that job and was there a few years, and then went over to Burns as the timber management assistant, the head timber guy working for the district ranger. And I did that for, we were there six or seven years in Burns, and I loved it over there. I loved the job, loved what I was doing, but I started to look ahead and say, "You know, am I going to love this 10 years from now, or should I start looking at maybe doing something different with my career?" And I started looking at what the options were.

SS: And you were still a forester?


RA: I was a forester.

SS: You were doing basically the same thing in a different location, more experience, but still basically the same thing?

RA: Yeah, and I was in-charge of everything in timber management, from preparing sales, to selling sales, to administering sales, to reforestation after the sales, to pre-commercial thinning of young growth. And I had a staff of people working for me.

SS: Obviously, the ecology is much different east of the Cascades, but describe the difference between western slope Cascades, high desert, you know, the mountains around Burns, that kind of thing?

RA: Yeah, well, the trees are different. The predominant trees in the Cascades are Douglas-fir and western hemlock and true firs. On the east side, it's lodgepole pine, ponderosa pine, some true firs, but not a lot. And the cutting 01:07:00regimes are different. A lot of the ponderosa pine responded more to intermediate cutting, rather than cutting everything off in a clear-cut mode. The ponderosa pine didn't need near the sunlight that Douglas-fir needs to regenerate. So, it was just partial cutting. Marking trees, which I always thought was just crazy. You had spray paint on every tree you wanted to cut, and I'd come from a culture on the Cascades where you put a line around 100 acres of trees, and cut everything within it. And here we were putting a spot of paint on every tree we wanted to cut. I kept looking for ways to do that differently. But that was the difference in timber management.

SS: Now, is Burns, or was then, the territory of the Hines Company?


RA: Yeah, Hines Lumber Company had a big mill.

SS: And didn't they actually come over and take over the Westfir operation later on, or one of those in the Oakridge areas?

RA: Well, yeah, I think the Hines mill was the first Hines operation in Oregon. They were a Midwest company. And they got one of those sales similar to what I was working with in Montana, a multi-year 30 or 50 million, I don't remember, board-feet, to be cut over a long period of time. And so, they were well-established in the Blue Mountains in the Burns area. They had the logging railroad that went up to Seneca. It was the largest indoor mill in the world, I think, at one time, they said at Hines. [Near Burns]

SS: Now, the ear of the Forest Service was more easily available to industry at 01:09:00that time. And you're going to tell me later, but you got into planning and other things, when the public, however you want to characterize that, and the post-NEPA age, environmental age, started to come to be. What was the relationship in Oakridge, Sweet Home, Detroit, Burns, in those early days before, shall we say, the environmental lobby became more established, stronger, and they knew how to manipulate or work within these laws, back when it was just you and mostly the companies [timber], and their needs? Would that be a fair way to characterize it?

RA: Yeah. The Forest Service was well-respected in those small communities, for a number of reasons. There was good folks working that participated in the community and a lot of community affairs. Their spouses, which at the time were 01:10:00women, were school teachers and did things, worked in the community. So, there was a very close relationship with the community. Our job out in the woods was opening up the national forests for recreation. I mean, when you put in roads for timber management, then anybody uses the road. And you could go, you could hunt, you could access streams for fishing, you could camp, and we were building campgrounds. And so, it was a very positive relationship.

Numerous times, I would maybe be at a public meeting or at an information-sharing kind of session, and folks would come and say, "Well, I really like what you're doing, I've always liked the Forest Service." Or, "I worked summers when I was in high school for you guys." Very, very positive. And 01:11:00the same way over in Burns. The timber industry approach was, "Why do you need to involve the public in your planning? You know, we've got scientists and your professional foresters, we know what to do, we just need to go out and do it." Early on in the '50s, lots of time, industry foresters would help in timber sale layout. They would actually, before the Forest Service staffed up much, industry foresters would say, "We'll help you. We'll help you identify the stands of timber. We'll help you put boundaries around them." That came to a halt because there were just conflict of interest problems there.

SS: I mean, aside from environmental issues, there were economic conflicts of interest, too, right?

RA: Yeah, because these timber companies would then be bidding on the timber.

SS: So, do you remember when you were in your early career as a forester, but 01:12:00before you evolved into what you would do later in your career and even before the environmental ethos would shift everything in the public mind certainly, did you ever think about when you were laying out a sale, you'd say, "Well, I don't know about this place," or "We're cutting too much too fast, or too many roads." Did you start internally reflecting on that?

RA: Oh, yeah. I think most of the people on the ground felt the great pressure to produce timber and really thought we were probably pushing too hard to do that. And I remember a couple of instances. One was pretty early in my career. We were laying out a timber sale up along a long ridge up in the Oakridge area. 01:13:00And there was a series of high-elevation lakes along there. And the road, they weren't cutting timber right up to the edge of the lakes, but the road went fairly close to some of the lakes where I had positioned the road. And one of the fellows working for me was there for a summer job, but he was taking forestry in school back at Michigan State, I think. And he asked me about it, and said, "Aren't, shouldn't we not be putting a road so close to these lakes? You know, aren't they pristine and we want to preserve them?" My answer at the time was, "Well, you know, we've got a number of these areas throughout the ranger district, and some of them we are staying away from them and some of them we aren't. It's just we're not into preserving everything. We're just trying to 01:14:00kind of do a mix." And, God dang it, and I just. . . . . I had another thought there, too. Let me, yeah, turn that off for a second.

(Break in audio) RA: Well, another realization that I had at the end of our National Forest Management Act [1976] planning cycle, when our plan actually came out and our timber harvest on the Willamette Forest was cut in half.

SS: This was in the '80s?

RA: This is in the late '80s. Right.

SS: Right.

RA: Yeah, in the '80s. We knew that was coming because we our projected harvest was skewed. But we said, "Well, God, you know, how could that happen?" You talked about in the early days, did we, were we aware of special areas, and we were. And in most cases, we would go around those areas. And you know, locally, 01:15:00the ranger and the local ranger district folks knew those were special areas and that we were never going to go in there and harvest timber. But they were never taken out of the base for which we calculated how much timber we should be harvesting annually. So, we were actually harvesting timber at a greater rate than we --

SS: Of the other areas?

RA: Right. And it was a greater rate than we would ever accomplish. But we never drew lines around those areas and formally recognized them until the National Forest Management Act planning process.

SS: And that was after 1976. Correct?

RA: Yes, that was in the '80s, and then we created special interest areas, special botanical areas, special tree growth areas. Then we put lines around all those areas that in the back of the ranger's mind, we would never go into.


SS: Now, you were in another district, but not too far away. Do you recall the French Pete controversy?

RA: Oh, yeah.

SS: I mean, you could kind of say that was the precursor of what was to come.

RA: Yeah.

SS: And what do you remember about that and the impression it made on you or even the culture of the Forest Service here in Oregon?

RA: You know, at the time I was on the ground, they called us "ground pounders." That was going on, but it wasn't going on in my district. It was something to be aware of. And the Forest Service, we just dragged our feet on, resisted any kind of meaningful dialogue or discussion about not harvesting in that area. And so, I was just aware of it, but it probably, the most local thing I remember is our 01:17:00ranger, one of our rangers at the time in Oakridge said, he was much more thinking far, well, that's what he was paid for, I guess, to think farther ahead than we were. He said, "You know, this French Pete business is going to continue to escalate, and we need to put roads around our current wilderness areas. We need to put roads along the boundaries of current wilderness areas so that they won't be expanded." Because it won't be a preserve.

SS: In other words, a preemptive strike, so to speak?

RA: Right. And we did that in several areas.

SS: Do you remember after some disturbance event, a flood, whatever, where you maybe saw ecological impacts, the watershed, the erosional effects of too much 01:18:00cutting, creating problems with the water flow or the runoff?

RA: You know, I don't recall that.

SS: But you do remember the 1964 flood?

RA: I mean, I certainly remember roads slumping out, putting timber sales or roads in slumpy areas, and certainly a lot of that happening. But I just at the time, I said, "Well, you know, that's just part of what happens."

SS: Now, you were in Oakridge at the 1964 Christmas flood. Correct?

RA: Oh, yeah.

SS: And what do you remember around what it did in that area, and specifically, in your district?

RA: Well, initially, we would have winter storms, heavy winter storms. The district folks, you would go out up into the forest and try and make sure 01:19:00culverts weren't plugged and that kind of thing. And so, I was out with a guy up Hills Creek. And man, we pretty soon realized this wasn't just a heavy winter storm. There were trees coming down. You couldn't hear yourself think with the boulders being pushed down Hills Creek itself. We turned around and came home, as did everybody else who was out in the woods at that time. It was a major catastrophic event. There was lots of fallen trees down in the water courses. And so, we had timber sales in those, clearing those out.

SS: A lot of salvage work after that? RA: Yeah. Lots of salvage timber sales. As far as thinking, well, our timber harvesting practices helped accelerate that --


SS: I'm not talking directly about that flood. I'm just talking about in general, reflecting about, why I had asked you about sell, sell, sell, and you start reflecting about adding to it the dynamics of erosion and water runoff?

RA: Yeah. I don't think I thought a lot about the incremental erosion. It was more on a landscape scale as, you know, this drainage is prone to very slumpy ground, and so maybe we don't want to put a road in there. We want to see if we can helicopter log and that kind of thing.

SS: Now, going back to an even earlier disturbance which affected the Coast Range more, but you were also in Oakridge during the Columbus Day storm. Did you have a significant amount of blow-down in your district?

RA: Yeah, we did. We had our share and as I recall, you know, again, it took 01:21:00salvage sales to open the roads. And then there was large areas where just patches of timber came down. That got us thinking about the edge effect, where you lay out a clear-cut sale to see how it might produce an edge of standing timber that was very vulnerable to wind coming up the ridge on the other side, and that kind of thing. I was thinking about that some.

SS: Okay, going back to where you were, I think to segue into your career transition, and then I asked you a series of questions here. You were over in Burns, and you started to think about, do I want to continue doing this specific task in the Forest Service? So, kind of take me to that process and how you became what you transformed into?

RA: Yeah, well, it was several steps. But I was looking at, started looking at 01:22:00jobs outside the Forest Service, and I really didn't see anything very attractive. But, I came to the realization that I would be unhappy spending the rest of my career in Burns.

SS: And just laying out timber sales, too?

RA: And just working in timber, yeah.

SS: Right.

RA: And at the time, my district ranger, one day he came in and said, "Hey, here's a one-year, they call it a fellowship, at Massachusetts Institute of Technology in General Management." He said, "You ought to, from what I know, you fit that. You ought to put in for that." And again, my philosophy is, I don't know what I'm going to do as I grow up.

SS: You still don't know?

RA: I'm going to look for the next opportunity. And this was an opportunity.

SS: So, you went back to Massachusetts?

RA: So, I applied for it and got accepted, and was at MIT for a year with 01:23:00fellows, people from all, mostly industry people, people from foreign countries. It was quite an experience. And I took the whole family. We lived back there for a year.

SS: That's very ironic that you describe yourself as a struggling college student for much of your academic career, and then you go back to "Brainiac Grand Central?"

RA: Well, you know, that's right. That's exactly right. I had no interest in going to any more schooling until I went back there, and I loved it.

SS: That must have been fascinating, though.

RA: I enjoyed it very much. I had just grown up. I was a different person, looking at academics differently.

SS: You're back at MIT. You're at MIT!

RA: So, I go through the year at MIT and graduate. And we had several field trips from, and seminars. I had the chief come up and talk at one of the 01:24:00seminars we had at MIT. And we went down to Washington, D.C. on a week-long field trip, and part of that was visiting the Forest Service. And so, when I graduated, the Washington office folks said, "Man, we've invested in this training, and you need to work in the Washington office."

SS: So, you returned to where you lived when you were much younger then?

RA: Well, that was my response. You know, I've spent 18 years in Washington, D.C., and I'm a West Coast guy. And I don't want to work in the Washington office.

SS: Did they make you stay anyway for a while?

RA: Well, it was touch-and-go for a while. And then, right before I graduated MIT, Dale Robertson, who was the future chief [Forest Service], was the supervisor of the Siuslaw National Forest, and he'd had some kind of one-year 01:25:00training, schooling after he worked for the Forest Service awhile. So, he kind of knew what I had done, and it was a very positive experience for him. And he was aware what I went through. And a job, the job of the Dunes Ranger for the Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area out of Reedsport was open, and he offered me that. And I said, "Yeah, man."

SS: But now, you were a ranger, but you also had this background now in management/planning. Right?

RA: Well, my whole Forest Service background up to that time was in timber management. And then I had this general management year-long session at MIT that covered all the facets of just managing an organization.

SS: Now, you came back in what year?

RA: That was 1975.

SS: Okay, so you're at Siuslaw now?


RA: Yeah, and so I went down to the.......and it was a total recreation job. And the Dunes had just, in the formation of the Dunes, some of the initial thinking was that it'd be part of the National Park Service.

SS: Well, it was a National Seashore Recreation Area kind of a deal?

RA: Well, it wasn't anything.

SS: Oh, okay.

RA: But it needed to be put under some kind of a special management regime. The Park Service was very interested in it, but the local people to a person said, "We don't want the Park Service here. We're used to dealing with the Forest Service." It was part of the Siuslaw National Forest. "We're used to dealing with the Siuslaw National Forest, and we want to keep dealing with them." So, eventually, it was designated as a "National Recreation Area," Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area. So, I went down there, and one of the first days I was 01:27:00there, the editor of the Florence newspaper publisher/editor came in, and wanted to interview me. And he'd been one of the strong proponents for keeping it in the Forest Service. One of the first questions he asked was, "What's your background?" And then the second question he asked was, "We heard your background is totally in timber management. Why are you here managing a recreation area?" And fortunately, the thought came into my head at that time, I said, "Yeah, that is my background, but I just finished a year at Massachusetts Institute of Technology in intensive management training, and we've got a lot of great folks that are working for me that know the ins and outs of recreation. My job is to manage them." And that, he took that answer okay.

SS: Good answer. RA: Yeah, I thought, I was pretty-proud of myself for thinking about that.

SS: You didn't want to end up with an awkward quote your first month on the job. Right?


RA: Yeah. So, I was there for just a year, a little over a year. And the job of program analyst opened up on the Willamette National Forest, out of Eugene, and the supervisor's office. And that wasn't super-attractive to me. I loved my working down on the Dunes. But we were, there were some family issues that my wife was thinking it was time to maybe get into a more populated area, and she wanted to start working. Our kids were in the latter stages of junior high and high school, and so she was looking to when they were going to leave the nest. And she wanted to have a career. Her sister, whose husband had died in his early '30s and had three kids, was living in Eugene, so things were kind of personally 01:29:00drawing us to Eugene. And I thought, you know, she wasn't real keen on moving to eastern Oregon, and we did, and we've lived in small towns. Maybe it's time we made some tradeoffs there.

SS: Move uptown?

RA: And so, we moved into Eugene. I felt bad about that professionally, because it's just not good for a management unit to have a manager for a little over a year, and then change again.

SS: Because you can't develop any continuity?

RA: Right, yeah. But I've kept contact with folks, they're having a reunion in September down there, and they've invited me to the reunion.

SS: So, they even invite "carpetbaggers" to come back, right?

RA: Yeah, that was kind of a carpetbagger deal. So, I took that job in Eugene and that was in '76 and in nineteen, I don't know, early '80s, my boss who was 01:30:00head of long-range planning and program analysis, moved and I put in for his job and got that. That was Mike Kerrick, who was the forest supervisor [Willamette NF]. So, he was my immediate supervisor and I was head of long-range planning, and that was at the very initial stages of the National Forest Management Act Plan.

SS: And that was passed in '76, but would really come into implementation in about the next five, six, seven years, right?

RA: Yeah, right. It was the early '80s before you really had the national guidelines and the regional guidelines that you could start.

SS: Now, where was the forest headquarters at that time when you came over?

RA: It was in the Federal Building down there across from the Fifth Street [Public] Market.

SS: When did it move over to the facilities it's at now?

RA: Oh, they've only been there four or five years.


SS: Oh, I thought it would have, probably been recent.

RA: Yeah.

SS: So, tell me about; you come into this job, things are changing, Mike Kerrick's your boss. What was on your plate?

RA: Well, what was on the plate was, I guess, I had two responsibilities. One, was developing a Willamette National Forest Management Plan under the guidelines of the National Forest Management Act. Then also, working with, there were two acts actually in the 1970's that the Forest Service thought would solve everything. The first was the Resource Planning Act, which was talked about long-range planning and identifying your needs ten and fifteen years out. The second was the National Forest Management Act, which talked about doing a management plan for managing the resources on the forest for the next ten years. 01:32:00Both of them, in hindsight, thought planning would be the savior of everything. All we got to do is make a plan, and then show that to Congress, and they'll fund it. Well, that it isn't how our politics work. We spend millions and millions of dollars doing a Resource Planning Act plan and doing a National Forest Management Act plan and Congress could care less. Didn't respond to them very well at all.

SS: Now, during this whole time, the environmental age was coming of age, or it was growing up from it's early, occasional outbursts to --

RA: Yeah.

SS: To more grassroots, widespread activism, and also all the important acts, 01:33:00you know, Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act, especially NEPA, and developed a whole new dynamic in terms of public involvement and management of the natural resources on, well, certainly on public lands, but even broader than that. And you're involved in, your job was timber management and your family, but what do you remember seeing about the growing firestorm or what was being discussed within the offices and between colleagues about this thing that was developing, and when did people really become aware that it was really different now? RA: Well, it was a mix. As I remember, the environmental movement really started in the late '60s. And that was, in conjunction with that, there was a number of environmental legislations passed; the Wilderness Act, the Clean Rivers Act, NEPA. There was half a dozen laws that affected management of the forests. And 01:34:00of course, with a large bureaucracy, it took a while for that to sift down to on the ground. You know, each level had to make their own interpretation of the law and the guidelines. We had national guidelines, and regional guidelines, and forest guidelines. So, it was, and we had a mix of people. We were starting to hire what I call "ologists," folks with, you know, biologists, wildlife biologists, plant folks, archaeologists. Those kind of different disciplines, where up until that time, foresters just took that responsibility on and did their self-training, or sometimes there'd be training sessions about different sciences. But now we were hiring people that were trained in that particular science, a specialist. And we were starting to hire women at that time.


The whole picture was kind of changing. And of course, then the National Forest Management Act talked about managing in a specific way and identifying what you have out on the ground, and really gave the environmental movement a spur. I remember, I had a law class back at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, MIT, and I wrote a paper on NEPA, which was pretty-fresh then. And my work and research into similar kind of things, that was the reason for writing the paper, so we would learn how to research, do law research and that kind of thing. It became obvious to me that this work was only going to grow. It started as well, you've just got to note what's out on the ground and what the inner 01:36:00relationships are, and how you're addressing those in your proposed timber sale, recreation campsite or whatever. But it became obvious to me that it was going to be a tool that was going to have to be more precise and more precise and more precise. Eventually we would be writing Environmental Impact Statements or something very close to them on most projects.

SS: You remember the early days when usually it was just an EA?

RA: Right.

SS: That was needed, which is today, would be like a few pieces of dust that would blow away? [Environmental Assessments were simple & short]

RA: Yeah, so we got, we could see that coming down the road. And just things started to get more difficult to get a job done.

SS: So, you're at the Willamette National Forest. What were some of your first tasks, first jobs, first challenges?

RA: You mean, when I moved there from Reedsport? SS: Yeah.


RA: Well, like I said, for several years I was the program analyst, dealing with putting together budgets and five-year budget planning and that kind of thing. And identifying major projects that we wanted to do and doing it in a way that we could secure funding for what we wanted to do. Then I was promoted into the overall land management planning job, and the first job there was just to assemble a team of planners. Get the right folks. That took a while. We had some turnover, some folks that just didn't quite fit.

SS: But you also had to get a new generation of types of training and background to do that kind of job versus the old, classic forestry schools which turned out people that did what you did for so many years, or for the most part?


RA: Most of the planning team folks on the Willamette, and I think it was pretty much the same on most national forests, were younger folks. They were specialists, cartographers, wildlife biologists, fishery biologists, plant botanists, those kind of folks, that hadn't been in the agency very long and had different kinds of schooling. Some of them were pretty idealistic about what they would be able to do in their job, and hadn't had the long background indoctrination into the Forest Service by working on a ranger district.

SS: They were more committed to whatever their thing was, rather than the service, right?

RA: That was one of the real challenges, taking their specialty input and making 01:39:00it so that it fit the overall picture.

SS: Now, tell me about what you knew or what your involvement was at that time with the Andrews, when you came in the late '70s, early '80s? And you knew about it from before, but the Andrews was changing, it was becoming less of a standard experimental forest, you know, geared toward traditional forestry practices, to more of a truly scientific, ecological research site. What do you remember about your first interactions with the Andrews after you came back and went into that job?

RA: Well, there were two different entities. Two different cultures. And you described that pretty well. But they were evolving, driven by, they had some 01:40:00great leadership. Jerry Franklin, Fred Swanson, Art McKee, Stan --

SS: Gregory?

RA: Stan Gregory, the stream guy.

SS: He just retired, by the way.

RA: Yeah, well, they were great scientists. And they wanted to push that science envelope, but they wanted it to be applicable. They wanted it to make sense, and they wanted to see what they were coming up with applied. We were the national forest, production-oriented, trying to get things done on the ground, harder and harder to get done, realizing that change was with us, and not only with the National Forest Management Act, but with our public, and socially. And so, we both were kind of looking for, you know, how are we going to make this work?

SS: Go on.


RA: So, we were looking, we were both thinking, how are we going to make this work? And we've obviously got to be closer together, but we weren't very close together. I can remember we had, occasionally, we'd have get-togethers, and I remember, and I've shared this with Fred [Swanson] several times. We had a get-together, a joint Willamette rangers and management staff, and Jerry Franklin and his guys, about something going on up the McKenzie, and it culminated with a joint dinner at the Log Cabin Inn, which was an old, old inn.

SS: It's up at McKenzie Bridge, but hasn't it burned down?

RA: It burned down, yeah. In fact, every time I went in it, I made sure I was sitting pretty close to the door because I thought it might burn down while I was there.

SS: Why, because the kitchen was kind of --?

RA: Oh, it was built in like the '20s, it was just cluttered and all-wood, and dark. But anyway, it was a standard meeting place because they had a restaurant 01:42:00and room to meet, and they had different tables. I remember we came in and sat down to eat dinner, and I started to look around. I said, "Hmm," on this side of the room at four or five tables was the Willamette National Forest. On that side of the room at four or five tables, was the H.J. Andrews, and they were all talking amongst themselves, you know.

SS: So, the two "tribes" were not mixing too much?

RA: Still kind of arm's-length. As I was looking at that, kind of thinking about that, I looked at Fred Swanson, and he was doing the same thing. He got up and walked over and sat at our table, and I thought, "Wow, that took guts!"

SS: Sounds like a scene from one of those high school movies where the jocks and the stoners, they don't want to sit next to each other. And then somebody goes 01:43:00and sits with them.

RA: Yeah, and that to me, that was a significant event. And I think, your memory is clouded by age. But I think then, other folks moved around a little bit. And that was, to me, the start of us really starting to integrate.

SS: That's interesting, because Fred has become known for being a real synthesizer and integrator as his career evolved in science, but also as a manager, administrator.

RA: Oh, yeah, yeah.

SS: And just kind of a promoter of everything the Andrews was, has been, and will be, but even beyond that.

RA: Well, that was the quintessential Fred. That was Fred and how Fred is. There was another, this was an evolving coming together. We really came together well, but it wasn't just like, okay, we've got the "national forest management plan, 01:44:00let's get together." But another incident that stuck with me was when we were identifying areas to set aside from timber management, for spotted owls and pileated woodpeckers. And our thought, the Willamette National Forest thought was, "Oh, geez, this is going to take areas out of timber production. Our targets probably aren't going to change from Congress and the Washington office. What are we going to do with these areas?" And we thought, I'm kind of paraphrasing now, "The H.J. Andrews is an experimental forest. Let's load that baby up with these preserved areas." We started doing that, and pretty soon the phone rang, and Jerry Franklin says, "We've got to talk to you guys." So, we had a small meeting there in Mike Kerrick's office with Jerry Franklin and Mike and 01:45:00myself, and I think Jerry had some of his folks. And he says, "You know, this isn't going to work. If you fill H.J. Andrews with spotted owl and pileated woodpecker areas, we can't do any research." And I said, "Oh, yeah. Gee, I guess we didn't think about that." So, there was no beating on each other, but it was just a realization that we both have jobs to do here, and we need each other's help doing them. To me, that was another step, one of coming together.

SS: Now, speaking about the spotted owl, do you know Eric Forsman?

RA: Oh, yeah.

SS: And then all of his progeny that followed. Could you have ever guessed that his research early on as, I think, as a graduate student when he started it, would have become what it became? RA: Well, no, that's a simple answer. I mean, 01:46:00I didn't really think about it a lot at that time, but no, you couldn't.

SS: I mean, you heard about the research, but then it became this thing that developed a life of its own?

RA: I doubt he even thought in those terms at that time. But, yeah, so we grew together. Fortunately, there was a string of really good rangers at Blue River; Jim Caswell, Steve Eubanks followed Jim, and then Lynn Burditt. They were all future thinkers, looking way ahead further than probably the average ranger. Jim Caswell ended up being Director of the Bureau of Land Management before he retired, so he was, obviously, a sharp thinker. And they just made a relationship with the H.J. Andrews, and they would push the envelope. They would 01:47:00do timber management practices on the Blue River District, implementing some of the thinking from the H.J. Andrews that kind of made the rest of the forest feel uncomfortable. You know, this is you're kind of going outside our standard guidelines here.

SS: Enough of that "green" thinking, right?

RA: Yeah, you know, and it was leaving more standing trees and clear-cuts, it was leaving slash, big logs on the ground. It was putting logs in the creek. I mean, it isn't that the other rangers weren't thinking about that or weren't messing around with it, but it was really happening at Blue River, outside the H.J. Andrews. And we would take field trips. Then we could have dinner and sit at the same table together.

SS: It was no longer, you didn't need Fred to go walk over and sit down?

RA: Right, we would have field trips and just talk about these things. And that 01:48:00evolved into us asking Stan Gregory to develop the Riparian Management Guidelines that we would use as part of our forest plan.

SS: And this would be in the '80s as you are leading up to what it became eventually, the Northwest Forest Plan. Right?

RA: Right, right. And so, we really developed a good relationship, but it took time.

SS: So, Jerry Franklin, the most famous of the scientists who came out of the Andrews, he's still working, still doing his cone counts all over the Cascades. What do you remember about Jerry, personality-wise, but also just all the things he was doing, his energy, but also some of his really-key research areas that impacted your management and planning?

RA: Well, he was a driver. He was a strong personality, very gregarious. Could 01:49:00be very sharp at times, very political, but also knew when to be sharp, and when to back off. Although he would push that envelope, too, and he developed a reputation, and some folks didn't like him very well because of his persistence. But he would take, I kind of looked at them as mini-sabbaticals. He would take his crew of scientists on trips in the summer time. And they would go off for two or three weeks.

SS: And they called them "pulses."

RA: Yeah, right. And they would look at new things, but you know, there was a whole lot of interaction going on that whole time. It was Jerry's way of developing some consistent thinking and looking, trying to push, you know, what's beyond the current problem. What's the future? And that impressed me a 01:50:00lot. We looked to those folks to develop the definition of old growth. That was a real, real problem, between timber management people and environmentalists, saying this is old growth, you know, and really, what is old growth? We didn't have a definition of it.

SS: Now, I've read in the literature, old growth being used back in the '40s and '50s. But it really wasn't commonly used like it would be later, until much later. What do you remember about hearing the term "old growth" in your schooling, for instance, at Penn State or even later when you first came out West to a professional forester?

RA: Well, yeah, we've used the term forever. I don't remember using it at Penn State. We probably did, I just don't remember. When you came out West and you're looking at old-growth Douglas-fir, the consistent thinking with the Forest 01:51:00Service was these forests are over-mature, if the tops are dying, it's time to harvest it. You need to make use of this before it rots and isn't of value to anybody for anything. But we never had a definition. It was just old stands. And then when we got into National Forest Management Act planning, we needed a definition. We needed to be able to say this is an old-growth stand, or it isn't. And just the fact that it had big, old trees wasn't enough.

SS: But do you remember the time when old growth was looked at, almost in a negative light? Have you ever heard people say "biological deserts"?

RA: Yeah, sure.

SS: Or, do you remember that philosophy being present, and of course, 20-30 years later, (whoosh sound) the whole thing gets flipped on its head?

RA: Oh, yeah, sure. That was some of our highest priorities for harvesting timber, was the oldest stands were, like I say, the tops were dying and trees 01:52:00were falling over.

SS: Now, what do you think about Jerry's promotion of the New Forestry? And how do you interpret the New Forestry, at the time in the '80s and early '90s when it was a "cause célèbre," if you want to call it that?

RA: Well, that generated on the Andrews and concepts of it, is what the district rangers at Blue River, like I was talking about, started to implement. But again, that wasn't an easy transition, even for Jerry and his folks. There were several different terms used, as he'd go one direction and another. At one point in time, Jerry was proposing, rather than spotty, isolated clear-cuts, you ought to clear-cut 1,000 acres at a time, and let it come back. I mean, that was, he's 01:53:00clear-cut the whole ecosystem.

SS: The whole mountain.

RA: Yeah, and then let it come back. He was just, you know, doing what good researchers do, looking at different hypotheses, testing different approaches. And again, trying to find the approach that you could implement on the ground, politically and scientifically.

SS: Now, when was the first time you visited the Andrews? Actual location, the forest?

RA: I probably did in my early years when I was working at Oakridge or Sweet Home or Detroit on maybe a field trip. But when I visited it from a scientific viewpoint, probably late '70s.

SS: And what do you remember about your first trip there and what you saw, 01:54:00either in the landscape, the forest, but even the facilities, which weren't much at that time?

RA: Yeah, they didn't have hardly any facilities. Probably one of my earliest visits was looking at the log decomposition study where Jerry was looking at how logs, big logs, decomposed over time. And he had even projected like a 200-year study, which was --

SS: That was Mark Harmon's study, actually.

RA: Yeah, Mark Harmon did that one.

SS: Jerry was still the lead guy up there, but that actually became, it still is, Mark's.

RA: Yeah, but that idea came out of Jerry, I'm sure. And that just wasn't heard of at the time, a 200-year study, you know, who here is going to be here 200 years from now? So, that we would take, we, the forest managers, district 01:55:00rangers and supervisor managers, supervisors, office managers, who would take periodic field trips to see what those folks were doing and thinking about. And the early trips were oriented around old growth and then kind of also riparian area management, those kinds of things.

SS: What other people up there in science do you remember from the Andrews, when you came back or started to be stationed at the Willamette?

RA: Well, there was Fred Swanson, Stan Gregory, there was Art McKee; he was one of the folks that interacted with National Forest maybe more than some of the others. He was kind of a liaison. There was a guy, you know, his name, he was a silviculturist, and he ended up going to Hawaii?


SS: Vince Puleo?

RA: No, no. Vince was a Forest Service guy. This was a researcher. He was a strong environmentalist. And he ended up going to Hawaii. So, he was out there. Well, when you talk about Vince, the evolution of us coming together, the National Forest and the research folks coming together, then actually it evolved into, well, we established a position that was a liaison with, actually paid by the National Forest system, working at Blue River, John Cissel. And actually doing studies on the Blue River Ranger District as part of their timber program that implemented different ideas coming out of the H.J. Andrews, like landscape 01:57:00scale management, looking at the whole ecosystem. Managing by fire regime, where history showed you'd have small, isolated fires over time, many small over time as opposed to large area periodic conflagrations. And so, then we were really just meshed closely together. And Vince was a silviculturist on the Blue River District that was part of that.

SS: Now, you mentioned John Cissel, and there's Cheryl Friesen there now, somebody else I think was in before, or between the two. But that's kind of a science liaison position that was created in part because of the Andrews being there, correct?

RA: Oh, yeah.

SS: Or totally because of that?

RA: Yeah, right, because the Andrews was there.


SS: Because a lot of forests don't have a liaison officer like that because there isn't a place like the Andrews within their purview, correct?

RA: Right.

SS: Right.

RA: Yes.

SS: They may have a liaison officer for a different reason, but it wouldn't be that.

RA: Right.

SS: Right.

RA: This was on the ground doing on-the-ground implementation of research ideas.

SS: Yeah, Cheryl's very active in the whole dynamic up there and is at all the Andrews meetings today. I met her, and you can see how that idea evolved from a rudimentary idea and position into something that's a very important position.

RA: Yeah.

SS: Now, tell me about planning and how that changed? You were at the Willamette until you retired then?

RA: No, after we published our National Forest Management Act Plan which was 01:59:00early, late '80s, early '90s, then we had to implement it. And I was there for a year or two implementing the plan, and I'd had enough of planning. I'd worked, spent the whole decade of the '80s planning, and I was just planned out. I didn't want to go through another cycle of planning. Again, I was of retirement age. I could have retired and I was thinking about that, you know, again like I was back like at Burns. You know, what are my options now? What opportunities are out there? And the district ranger at Sweet Home left. My boss at the time then was Darrel Kenops, and I thank him greatly. He came in and he said, "You know, would you be interested in that job?" And I thought about it and I said, "Hey, that's back out on a district which is where I was always very, very 02:00:00comfortable implementing this plan I'd helped put together. That sounds great." And so, I went out there for five or six years as the ranger.

SS: Of course, you were living in the house that we're sitting at right now, since shortly after you went to the Willamette. RA: Right.

SS: So, you stayed in the same place, you just commuted differently?

RA: Commuted, yeah. It was an hour commute, but it was a great commute driving. I started driving I-5, and quickly got away from that. There's some great backroads that got me there that were just very enjoyable to drive. And then actually, we went through a lot of stressful stuff, not only implementing the forest plan, but reducing our organization. You know, our budget was cut drastically and we actually went through what we call a reduction in force, which is formally forcing people to move or quit, reassigning people, bringing 02:01:00in brand-new people based on seniority kind of considerations, which was very stressful. But I found that hour commute was a great de-stresser. I could at the beginning of the day, I could think about, okay, what do I need to be geared up for going to work, and at the end of the day, I could kind of let go of all the stuff that was going on that day. So, by the time I got home, I was de-stressed.

SS: Now, I know you left planning, but I do want to talk about it a little bit more before we go. Tell me a little more about that decade, all the work, the nuts-and-bolts, the grind it out, the public hearings, the whole thing that became the plans that evolved into the forest plan of the early 1990's?

RA: Well, you know, I look back on that and think, "How could that have taken 02:02:00that long?" I just, I'm bamboozled that it took that long. And I somewhat jokingly, but not 100 percent, call it the "Lost Decade." We spent 10 years putting together a plan that, it's, when I look back on it, it's incomprehensible. But at the time, it was day-to-day. You know, there was pressure to get that plan out, and we went through several years of planning, and then everything stopped because it wasn't coordinated well from the regional office, and each forest was kind of doing their own thing. And so, we'd had a planning pause for about a year in, like '83 and '84, or something like that.


And then we started over again. We had the regional guidelines, and we had people coming and going off the planning team. Some people fit pretty-well, some didn't. Some were brand new to the Forest Service, some were old-timers that nobody else wanted. It was just, it was a management challenge, and it just went on year after year after year. But we really weren't thinking in that terms, we were thinking, we've got to meet these guidelines, we've got to get together, we've got to get it done. When that was all done and I got out on the ranger district [Sweet Home], that's when I realized that plans are obsolete the minute you sign them. I mean, they're still plans and they're still good thinking, but you've got to evolve. You've got to do that "adaptive management," and see what 02:04:00in the plan works, what doesn't, and if it doesn't work, you've got to change it. The couple years I worked after our plan came out and I was still in charge of planning, I looked for ways to, I'm searching for the term now, adjust the plan, change the plan, where it wasn't working. And I would ask districts, where isn't this working? We want to go through a formal process to adjust the plan, to show that it's not a document that's just cast in stone whether it works or not, that it's a living document and we can keep current with activities. And we were kind of successful in doing that.

SS: Now there is a popular tag, the "Forest Wars." [Political/cultural conflict in NW over forest uses/planning in 1980s/1990s.] You were in planning during that whole time. How would you characterize this conflict?

RA: Well, we had a public information officer, Jerry Mason, who used that term a 02:05:00lot, the Forest Wars. And they certainly were there. We had some really-tough interactions with industry people and with environmentalists. And there were folks across the whole spectrum. Dyed-in-the-wool industry folks who said the only thing, you know, we got to cut every tree out there, and environmentalists said, we can't cut any tree out there, to everything in-between. And we just, we kept an open door. We talked to them all. And I became really-good friends with one of the industry reps, to the point where he would come and tell me, "Now, in 02:06:00a couple days, industry is doing to do this," calling attention to something you're doing with planning. I just wanted you to be aware, so it's not a surprise. So, there was folks within industry we could talk with a lot, and agree to disagree. Other folks from industry, halfway through a meeting, they'd stand up and walk out. Same with environmentalists. We ended up asking, they call it Oregon Wild now, but it was Oregon Natural Resource Association.

SS: Council, I believe.

RA: Yeah, they've changed their name three or four times. We asked them to give us an alternative. Give us what you think would be a viable alternative, and we'll analyze it with all the others. And they did, as I recall. So, again, we could sit down and talk with most of those folks. But of course, we didn't 02:07:00always come to agreement. And most of our discussions would be profitable discussions, not just yelling at each other. And we could ask, I would get Norm Johnson [noted forest planner] to come down and talk to our management team a couple times a year, just to kind of get his perception, you know, what's going on.

SS: He is OSU or Washington?

RA: Yeah. No, Norm Johnson developed the "Forplan," which was a computer analysis tool [modeling] to look at forest planning, and it didn't work very well. We used it, but then we did make some adjustments and you could make something out of Forplan models, which is the way it should be. You know, a model is a model. It shouldn't dictate your decisions. It should give you information to make a decision, to help make a decision. But Norm was at the 02:08:00cutting-edge of planning things, and had his finger, politically in the pie. And he started out at Colorado State, and then he was at, he's still at Oregon State. He's like a Professor Emeritus now, I guess. He was one of the "Gang of Four" that Clinton called together, Jerry Franklin, and the wildlife biologist guy that was the chief [Jack Ward Thomas, and John Gordon, Dean, Yale College of Forestry].

SS: Four men or --?

RA: No, he went on to be chief. [Thomas]

SS: I'm drawing a blank.

RA: Yeah, I'm terrible with names. But there was four of them, and Norm Johnson was one of them. So, yeah, he knew what was going on and was looking ahead. And so, we would have him come and talk to us and kind of alert us to what.

SS: What about the local people, the local communities, and specifically the 02:09:00local communities that come from the traditional extractive industries on the land, not the second-home people that's developed up the McKenzie and other places over time, or retired; how were your relations with them during this period? And how did that change and not only did that, how did the reputation or the feeling toward the Forest Service change?

RA: Local leaders weren't very involved in the Willamette National Forest. They knew it was there, they knew it was a big machine producing timber, but that was about the extent of their involvement. Early in the planning process, we got the idea to talk to those folks, and asked, "What do you want to see out in the forest?" And we did, we had two or three meetings, and all we got was, "Gee, I 02:10:00don't know, harvest timber." So, we quit talking to them because they really hadn't thought about it. The realization we came to, is what the attraction of the National Forest to them was as an amenity if they were recruiting people to come to their businesses because it was a great recreation area, a great area to go for recreation.

SS: But what about the communities that were dependent on timber, though?

RA: Of course, they wanted to keep harvesting timber. There was no question there. Although there were some environmental groups, particularly up out of Salem and in the Breitenbush area, that were strong environmental advocates. I remember going to a public meeting. We didn't hold them, Norm Johnson was holding some meetings. The Governor [Oregon] asked him to get involved in planning, so he held some public meetings. He held one in Lebanon. I went to that and it was mostly populated by folks whose families worked in the woods, 02:11:00either in mills or in the woods itself, logging. Those folks were just rabid about it, you got to keep this going. And then I came to the realization, this is just like the auto industry in the Midwest, where generations, we've been doing this long enough that generations are working doing the same job that their parents did.

SS: Or grandparents did.

RA: And it's an expectation now. In the '40s and '50s, it was a new opportunity, and a lot of folks came from the South to work in the woods, from Arkansas and Oklahoma and those kind of places. And there's little enclaves of those folks still around. But then they worked, and then their kids worked, and then their 02:12:00grandkids worked, and it became an expectation. And that's the feedback we were getting, you know, "How can you change this? This is something that's part of our life."

SS: So, do you ever remember feeling disliked, disrespected, unsafe? For instance, a lot of Park Service people in the Southwest when they were having wilderness battles over BLM lands, they'd take their uniforms off as soon as they'd leave the office because they were scared.

RA: Yeah, I don't know how deep to get into that. That's a whole different subject. I've watched the Forest Service over time alienate themselves with every support group we've had. I don't remember any specific instances of physical violence. There may have been some. At this point-in-time, I don't 02:13:00remember that. There certainly were folks that talked about feeling threatened primarily from the timber industry side where the thought was we were taking jobs away from them, and they got very angry about that. And folks feeling uncomfortable wearing a Forest Service uniform, either out in the woods or in the community after work going to the grocery store or whatever. We went through a decision process where all our vehicles were green, that was -

SS: What was the name of that green, was there a name for it?

RA: Oh, I don't recall.

SS: They just called it "Forest Service Green," or was there actually a name for it?

RA: Well, there was probably several names.

SS: You still see that color around.

RA: There's still some, but we went through a process where the reason to get 02:14:00away from green rigs; there was two reasons. One, was we had to repaint them when we resold them when we were done using them. We had to repaint them, and that was a cost. Also, they called attention to us. And so, and I remember sitting in those decision meetings, thinking, "That's our identification. That's how people know us." They go up in the woods and they see a Forest Service rig up and say, "Oh, my forest is being taken care of." Because they're up there. But we didn't have that thinking then. We wanted to get away from being recognized.

SS: Now, they've got white rigs?

RA: Well, we've got white rigs, and nobody recognizes us, and nobody supports us.

SS: The only time you can recognize it, the ranger, or the law enforcement ones where they're got the green stripes on them. You can kind of recognize that.

RA: Oh, yeah, they stand out. When I went out to Sweet Home as the district 02:15:00ranger that was a pretty tough community, because there was, probably at one time, six or eight mills in Sweet Home.

SS: There's only one or two left, right?

RA: Right, maybe one. So, the town was pretty antagonistic. I made it one of my priorities was to get back integrated with the community. And I would wear my uniform, and even though I didn't live in the community, I would go into stores after work, or I would go to, I joined the Sweet Home economic development group, and would go to those meetings in my uniform, and I would encourage our folks to wear theirs, and not feel uncomfortable wearing their uniforms. I got a lot of support that way, and over time, the community re-accepted us. You know, 02:16:00they said, this is just where we're going and we need to learn to deal with it.

SS: Do you think that there's more of an acceptance now in rural Oregon or the West about the changed calculus of how we manage our forest lands?

RA: Well, there's a resigned acceptance. Acceptance from the standpoint of I can't do anything about it. This is going to happen. Not acceptance from it's the right thing to do. You know, particularly in southern Oregon, you see a lot of folks talking, there's still mills closing down there.

SS: How many people, though, do you really think understand the real reasons behind this? Some of it certainly had to do with laws and culture changes, but a lot of it had to do with world economics in terms of where the jobs are going per se, not just things on the American public lands.


RA: Well, that's right. When I was at Sweet Home, I would talk to folks about the National Forest reducing available timber, but at the same time, mills automating, logging systems automating. Industry was cutting people, not only because there wasn't as much timber to harvest, but because it was more economical. But that didn't get a lot of attention or acceptance, but those things were happening. And again, it depends on who you're talking to, somebody whose dad and grandfather worked in a mill, and he doesn't have a job because he thinks it's because we reduced the timber.

SS: Or they blame the environmentalists?

RA: Yeah. And so, people, when you think about it and talk about it, and all the 02:18:00different factors that come into play, there's resignation, but not really acceptance.

SS: Now, OSU and U.S. Forest Service co-administration of the Andrews can today be held up as a model for effective inter-institutional management and science. However, that wasn't always the case based on many different reasons, but this evolved into something that became very effective, and I think remains very effective today. But if you were going to characterize that relationship, as well as what you want to say about the Andrews in general, what would you say about that?

RA: Well, I think going to MIT helped me with that because we worked a lot with 02:19:00technology transfer issues and a lot with modeling. I'm not sure before I went to MIT, I really knew what a model was when industry folks talked about modeling, and we worked with that a lot. And after I went through that whole cycle of land management planning and I was out at Sweet Home, I looked back and I said, "You know, the most impactful and probably astounding thing that came out of that relationship with the Willamette Forest and H.J. Andrews, is rapid technology transfer." And we really established a model for that that I don't know has been implemented to that extent anywhere else in the country.

SS: Explain the model.

RA: Well, just the fact that you've got scientists with ideas, and they integrate with the ground-pounders, the folks that are making it happen on the 02:20:00ground, and they try different methods. They do adaptive management, they share ideas, and the ideas then are started to be implemented on the ground. And if they don't work, then you try something else. It's just a very open give-and-take relationship that, again, took a number of years to build, but man, it was very effective there in the late '80s and '90s. SS: And of course, that was at the very time when the Forest Wars, the planning processes, were all at their peak intensity, and so it was a necessary collaborative arrangement?

RA: Well, it was a very fruitful one. And it was necessary, but being necessary doesn't always make it happen. It happened with us in a very positive way, and a 02:21:00very fruitful way. And it just worked.

SS: Now, it seems to me, I know it's true that the Andrews and its forest research and its overall ecological research, has affected management and science far beyond the scope of the Willamette National Forest. But in terms of the one-on-one relationship of a government entity, a hybrid entity like the Andrews that is kind of between academics in universities and the Forest Service and their scientists, it's a rarity to have that dynamic, that effective, and that long-lasting of a relationship?

RA: Well, I agree with you. I think it is, too. We talked earlier about the roles of John Cissel and Cheryl Friesen, but those are the folks that make it happen. They go to the research meetings, they get the ideas, and they can share 02:22:00with the research folks, "Well, you would like to do this, but here's the reality of problems with doing that. You know, and maybe if we did this, do it this way, rather than that way, it would work more." So, we both profited greatly. Research folks got to see their ideas implemented, and then, where they worked, taken other places, and worked in other places, and we got the benefit from cutting-edge research and awareness.

SS: Anything else to say?

RA: I think I'm running out. I'll give you one more example, though, of us coming together with research. Pretty far into the planning process, there was a group of environmentalists led by a guy named George Atiyeh up at Jawbone Flats, 02:23:00out of Mill City, which is a little piece of private land and some good national forest, old-growth, surrounding it. Again, this is one part of a long story. But George Atiyeh wanted that whole area preserved.

SS: Where is Jawbone Flats exactly?

RA: You go up the Little North Fork out of --

SS: The Santiam?

RA: The Santiam. You go up from Salem east towards Detroit at, it's just a little east of Lyons before you get to Mill City. You go off to the north. And there's not great access to it. But George Atiyeh brought together a group of environmentalists and he was going to have a long weekend up at Jawbone Flats on 02:24:00his little piece of private land there where we had a house and a kind of a lodge. He wanted, this was to drum up the fact that the Forest Service was really screwing things up. And he invited Art McKee from H.J. Andrews to come up and talk about old growth. By that time, we were close enough together, and Art McKee was astute enough, he said, "You know, I want to go up there, but I don't want to go up and get George to maneuver me in to, you know, dumping on the Forest Service." So, he asked me to go with him. And George didn't know about this, but he asked me to go with him so there would be a National Forest representative there, which was great thinking on Art's part. And I did. When we 02:25:00got there, George, his eyes kind of got big when he saw me there. But there was nothing he could do. Art had invited me and I was there. And it worked out really well. I was able to, in the discussions when he started really getting away from good science discussions, talk about the national forests and what we were doing.

SS: What was the resolution for that area, do you know?

RA: Yeah, well, it's part of a wilderness now, or either a wilderness or a special area. It has congressional designation now.

SS: Now, going back to not just the forest [Willamette NF], but the Northwest Forest Plan and planning in general. Do you think there's too much land reserved now with all the different designations; there's an adaptive natural area here, a reserved management area here, there's this, there's that, there's the old-school primitive areas which are now mostly wilderness areas. I mean, what's your thinking on that whole pastiche of special categorizations that have 02:26:00emanated over the last 40 years, even out of the Northwest Forest Plan?

RA: Well, there's certainly enough. The good thing about identifying all those special areas and what made them special, and drawing a line around them, was we recognized them. We took them out of the timber harvest base calculation. The bad thing was we drew a line around them, and they all were special interest areas. Some way, we've got to evolve into this whole ecosystem management, blur those lines and do what management makes sense within those areas, and not do management that doesn't make sense. I've done some recent reading and the guy, I can't think of his name right now, he's a fire researcher, he's done a lot of 02:27:00writing about wildfire. He wrote a book about the 1910 fires, recently, the last few years.

SS: Steve Pyne?

RA: Pyne, Steven Pyne.

SS: He was my mentor.

RA: Okay, well, he wrote an article in, The Pinchot Institute. Are you familiar with that?

SS: I think so, yeah.

RA: It's a conservation, not an environmental organization, a conservation organization.

SS: Right.

RA: Stationed at the old Grey Towers, the Pinchot residence [Pennsylvania]. They have a semi-annual publication, and he wrote an article recently, talking about how we've got to start thinking differently about wilderness areas because they're evolving, the trees are going, fire is becoming rampant, climate change is causing different regimes, and we may not be able to maintain wilderness 02:28:00areas in the future. And we need to look at a broader scale management all the way from urban areas up through the wilderness. That made great sense to me. I'm on the board of the McKenzie River Trust. I don't know if you've heard of them.

SS: Yes.

RA: Our simple motto is "protect special places," and not preserve special places, but protect special places. And Fred, Fred Swanson has been involved. We've asked him on several occasions to look at some areas and give us some advice and interact with us. And we've been talking with him about his arts-in-residence program, and wondering if we could expand that to the McKenzie River Trust activities. So, that's what I'm kind of going around the topic, but 02:29:00that's kind of what the Trust is looking at in protecting lands not in wilderness. And we protect, we have easements on farm lands. We have easements on managed timber lots. And it's just kind of getting back to what makes sense for this local system. And I think that's where we're going to evolve to, but I mean, we're not going to do away with wilderness areas in the foreseeable future.

SS: Let's continue on with the McKenzie River. You've been around this area for more than 50, 55 years, I guess, 56 years; 1958 when you came back?

RA: '59 when we came to Oakridge.

SS: So, you've seen it evolve. And obviously you weren't just in the McKenzie River area, but you're involved with the McKenzie River Trust, and you've been 02:30:00involved with the Willamette [National Forest] going back to the '70s. How have you seen the McKenzie River Valley and that kind of watershed evolve? And I'll say culturally and economically, first.

RA: Well, that's a good question. I think the evolving culturally is the closer you get to Eugene, the more it's evolved. You get way up the McKenzie, McKenzie Bridge, in that country, there's lots and lots of old-timers there that have lived there their whole lives, and their parents lived there their whole lives. They've just integrated with the resource. And at one time, there were mills in Blue River, lots of logging from the Springfield mills going on up there. You 02:31:00know, the ownership pattern is urban areas, industrial privately-owned forest land, national forest, as you go east. And so, that combination of industrial forest lands and national forest lands provided a good economic base for folks that weren't urban-oriented. The living wasn't always that great. I mean, it took a while to get electricity all the way up there, and if you look at some of the old pictures of the roads, they're just kind of tire tracks. But folks depended on the natural resources, and that's tough to do these days. That area hasn't evolved very well. There's no big resort that's drawn tourist people in. It's more of place with people going through it, going from Eugene to Bend, and 02:32:00Bend to Eugene. But it's a gorgeous area. And the McKenzie River itself is a magical name. You say McKenzie River, people all over the state and outside the state, know about the McKenzie River. People come from all over the country to fish the McKenzie River.

SS: Or to float the McKenzie River.

RA: Or to float it. So, it's a great attraction, it's just economically never been able to benefit from that very much.

SS: There was the glory years of the logging, for about 40-50 years maybe, 40 years?

RA: Yeah, probably late '40s to late '80s.

SS: How many people do you think have adapted, or how well do you think people have adapted to the changes? And the old guard, some of them are going to stay 02:33:00up there till they die because that's where their family is. I mean, obviously, you don't have a percentage, but how would you characterize adaptation of the culture and people that you've known and met, just an impressionistic view?

RA: I don't know that culturally, it's more of an observation, than knowing that I'm that involved in the culture that I really know. Some aspects have developed okay, like the river guides. There's several families that generations and generations have, the young folks that stayed there and become river guides and are continuing the business. Other logging families, you know, the same with lots of rural communities, the young folks leave. Sometimes the young folks leave like in other places, and get a good basis of income and come back. So, 02:34:00and there's lots of moneyed people living up the McKenzie. It's just not very obvious. They're tucked back along the river or above the river, and I don't know how involved they are in the community. Some of them, again, it's not a broad brush either way. Some of them get involved to an extent and some of them don't. Some of them use their money positively, and some don't. Like, the McKenzie School District was looking forever to have a developed track for their track team, one that was to the standard they could have track meets there rather than having to go elsewhere. Aaron Jones' wife, the Seneca Mill family, donated the money to build a track there. So, some of that goes back into the 02:35:00community, and I'm sure some of it doesn't.

SS: How about Blue River, the town of Blue River? A little bit further down, but right by the Andrews?

RA: Blue River at one time had a Les Schwab Tire Center, if you can drive through it these days and envision that. It was back when they were building the Cougar Dam and the Blue River Reservoir, the other way.

SS: So, it was a boom town?

RA: It was a boom town. There was at least one mill right there between the town and the high school.

SS: Do you remember the name of the mill?

RA: No. It had a mill pond. It was south of the old road that goes from the high school to town. And it's where there's a kind of a flat area and an opening, you 02:36:00can see that. There might have been other activities, I just don't remember. And I don't, when I go up the McKenzie, I rarely go into Blue River these days, so I really don't know what's going on there. I know they're struggling. Little mom and pop stores come and go.

SS: Well, I think the highway being routed around the city really hurt.

RA: Yeah, well, it did, plus the loss of the logging family income. So, they're really struggling. It's not a very attractive community.

SS: But the communities further down are more urban-connected, would that be fair to say? Vida, and obviously Leaburg and Walterville, you get farther down, you're almost in Springfield?

RA: Right. And you get, I'm sure there's a lot of commuters in those communities 02:37:00that work outside the community down towards or in Springfield and Eugene, but like living up there. And Lane Transit runs a bus all the way up the McKenzie. A lot of Forest Service people have used it in the past. I don't know how much it's used now. SS: It makes for a long day, I hear.

RA: Yeah, it is. It's a long day.

SS: It runs twice a day, I think, something like that.

RA: Yeah.

SS: But your activities with the McKenzie River Trust, tell me what that all involves? The trust itself, but you, specifically.

RA: Well, the trust, it's a land trust. It protects lands by, we get the protection a number of ways. Sometimes easements, which restricts, the landowner still owns the land, but some development activities are restricted. And that 02:38:00goes, the easement is part of the property deed, so it's forever part of the property. And generally, it's not to build additional structures. But also, we own land, either we've purchased easements.

SS: Almost like a Nature Conservancy kind of a strategy?

RA: On a local basis.

SS: Right.

RA: Yeah, we fill the local niche. There's lands that folks have wanted to get involved with the Nature Conservancy, and they say, no, that's not, doesn't meet our goals. But we're a niche that can deal with that. So, we can purchase easements or purchase land, or we get donations, or we get what we call bargain sales where we pay people less than full value for the land. There's lots of ways that we can do activities. All told, we've been pretty-successful. We've 02:39:00evolved to the point where we're protecting land in a contiguous fashion. So, there may be some Bureau of Land Management land, there may be a state park, and then there may be some McKenzie River Trust protected land, which makes your protection cover a much larger area, so it's for particularly things like wildlife habitat and watershed protection. It's much more effective than little parcels.

SS: Where is the lowest point on the river where you're active?

RA: Well, we're active in primarily in Lane County, but we're called the McKenzie River Trust. We have lands protected in the Siuslaw watershed.

SS: Oh, okay. So it's not just the McKenzie River?

RA: No, the trust was formed in 1989, and then, in about 2001 or 2002, we made 02:40:00the decision to move out of just the McKenzie River drainage, and we have some protected land in Douglas County. As for your question in the McKenzie River, how far down we come, Green Island, which is a large almost 1,000-acre island west of Coburg where the McKenzie and the Willamette come together.

SS: All the way at the bottom?

RA: Yeah.

SS: So, basically all the way up to almost Clear Lake?

RA: We have gone up to, well, Whitewater Creek, which is out of McKenzie Bridge. And we have acquired several parcels totally surrounded by National Forest land in the upper drainage that the Forest Service wanted to own, and we've sold them to them. After we acquire them, we've sold them to the Forest Service.

SS: So, what would you describe your overriding mission and how would you describe your successes?

RA: Well, our overriding mission is to protect special lands. And so, then 02:41:00you've got to define special and that's left open because of evolving desires and needs. Right now, our emphasis is on riparian areas, salmon streams, that kind of thing.

SS: If you were going to look, what are your biggest concerns for the McKenzie River area from a conservation perspective, things that you may be able to address with what you do through the trust?

RA: Well, you know, the McKenzie River is a unique river. You look at, even today, environmental groups bringing lawsuit against timber sales, and today 02:42:00they're thinnings, they're not clear-cuts. And you sit down, look back and say, we've got this expanse of industrial timber lands and national forest lands, that, well, I was saying, we've got timber sales now that are protested and taken to court, that are small-volume thinning sales, essentially. The contention is that it's going to degrade the McKenzie River terribly. You kind of think back to that array of heavily-logged industrial timber land between Springfield and the National Forest boundary, and the National Forest itself, 02:43:00heavy log, heavy clear-cut logging and road building for 40-plus years, year after year after year, and we still say the McKenzie is one of the purest rivers in the state and in the country. So, we don't need to get complacent about that. That's a great thing. But we need to make sure it stays that way. Not by taking low-impact timber sales to court, but by insuring that the key pieces of the drainage, the riparian areas, the waterways, remain intact and protected. And that development doesn't encroach right down to the main river itself. And with all the urban kind of pesticide applications and runoff and that kind of thing, from removing vegetation. So, that's our main thrust now, to look at key 02:44:00wildlife habitat areas that are part of the riparian system in the McKenzie. Outside the National Forest boundary. There is nothing we can do within the National Forest boundary.

SS: What was the deal with that, the timber sale last year that brought up such a firestorm, I believe, with residents in McKenzie Bridge area?

RA: Yeah.

SS: Explain that to me a little better?

RA: Well, I don't know a whole lot about that. That was a partial cut, a thinning sale.

SS: The one you were talking about?

RA: Well, the one you're talking about is.

SS: But, okay.

RA: Yeah. Well, I was kind of referring to that one.

SS: Well, okay.

RA: It was inferring. But thinking of that as --

SS: And other ones like that.

RA: And other ones like it. But there may have been some small several acre clear-cuts. I really don't, I'm not that familiar with the sale. But I think the 02:45:00biggest problem was it was kind of a surprise to folks that live there. Some of the timber sale boundary was up against private landowner boundaries. And the district thought they had done appropriate landowner contact, but it turned out maybe they hadn't. And so, that kind of caused the storm that then, the environmentalists kind of piled on. You're getting a real-biased view here on this one.

SS: Well, that's okay.

RA: I'm an advocate of managing our national resources, and that doesn't mean clear-cutting every acre, but it means knowing what's going on and managing in a positive way. SS: Not in my back yard, though, right, in that case?

RA: That I think was the case. Yeah.

SS: Go on a little more about the Trust, if you've got anything more to say about that?

RA: Well, I think I alluded to it earlier, but you know, the relationships that 02:46:00were built back with H.J. Andrews and the Willamette National Forest, have continued with, particularly with Fred Swanson and I and the McKenzie River Trust, and Fred's --

SS: And Fred's involved with that?

RA: Fred's involvement with things related to the H.J. Andrews, but actually wanting to project outside, and the McKenzie River Trust is a good entity for him, actually to be involved with. He's helping us look at interaction with public kinds of activities. I mean, we're totally impressed with that artist-in-residence program Fred's got going at the H.J. Andrews, and we'd love to take that down to Green Island and do something in companion with him. And you know, Fred's a geologist by training, and he's been out looking at some of the things we're doing on some of our properties and giving us advice that way, 02:47:00too. So, it's just a great relationship.

SS: Now, using that as a segue, we talked quite a bit about Jerry Franklin. Now, Fred Swanson has been involved with the Andrews for forty years, and although he is not as well-known as Jerry Franklin, he's well-known scientifically, but he's also become a shepherd for Andrews-related issues, amongst other things like the trust. Tell me about Fred Swanson? I mean, you've known him many years. He's done many things in his science career, but also in a kind of quiet activist kind of way, a quiet philosophic kind of way. Describe to me Fred and your experience with him?

RA: Well, I've known Fred since the '80s and that incident up at Log Cabin Inn 02:48:00where he came over and sat with the National Forest guys. And he's always a very consistent guy. He's just a very gentle guy, well-thought, world-class thinker, way ahead of anything I'm thinking about. He always introduces new ideas to me when I visit with him. He's very respectful of folks, very respectful of the environment. A real leader at H.J. Andrews, very quiet backroom kind of leader, not flamboyant like Jerry Franklin, but touching bases and suggesting things that ought to happen or things that people ought to be aware of. Just, I've got 02:49:00great respect for him.

SS: Tell me more about the artists-in-residence and his interest in furthering the humanities as a close partner with the sciences because, of course, the NSF and the sciences and the central cadre, funding and otherwise, of the NSF-type projects and the LTER system, have always been dominated by the hard sciences. And he's made it a big mission of his to bring the "touchy-feely stuff," the humanities, the literature, the art, into that realm. You mentioned a little bit about your interest in that for the Trust?

RA: Yeah, I can't speak for Fred and what his specific interest is, and I don't know that I've dealt with him in-depth about that, but it's --

SS: No, I'm asking more about your view on the whole dynamic? I'm not asking you --


RA: The whole dynamic is, you just get a broader view. You get, when you get people from the arts, they think differently than scientists, and they react differently than scientists. And that's good to know. They're part of society, just like the rest of us are. They have great insight into things that you might not even have even considered in what you're doing. And we've got a cosmopolitan world now, it's you can't do things, particularly with public lands in a box. You know, it's out in front of everybody.

SS: How do you look on the concept of place? And I can explain what I mean 02:51:00further if you want, but I'll let you go with just with that pure question.

RA: I don't know. At one time, I was really into thinking about the concept of place, and trying to see how it fit in with land management planning and local areas and that kind of thing. And so, I was pretty serious about it at one time, and then, I've kind of evolved, I mean, it's just a another name. I think I'm getting too old for some of this stuff. It's just, you see cycles and fads and names and --

SS: Well, for instance, this is a place.

RA: Yeah.

SS: The McKenzie River, you've been involved with professionally, and now philanthropically or still professionally, it's a place. It has physical 02:52:00attributes and cultural attributes, and these attachments and these interpretive dynamics for people evolve over time. Do you believe that this has a lot to do with why it is such a struggle, but also such an interesting part of the American land management matrix, that we have these developed senses of place?

RA: Oh, yeah. No, without question, people develop a real feeling and ownership in places, areas. We've had discussions from a fundraising standpoint with the McKenzie River Trust about people who have summer homes or part-year homes, homes they don't live in year-round up the McKenzie. They come from San 02:53:00Francisco, you know, very urban areas, very urban life, but part of their life they want to spend up the McKenzie, and that's very important to them. And we've had discussions about how do you identify that feeling of sense of place to the point that folks that have that feeling whether they've identified it or not, they're implementing it, how do you transfer that into donations for a charitable cause? So, we've talked about that a lot. I mean, it's certainly, that's there. There's some property downstream from Fern Ridge, the Long Tom River flows into Fern Ridge, and then out and north. And there's a family that's owned land, this is like the third generation, and each generation, it gets 02:54:00parceled into smaller pieces because, you know, it's a finite section of land. And so now it's down to where we were talking to a lady from, with a McKenzie River Trust business that lives over there outside the owned property, but she owns 20 acres in the middle of an inaccessible piece of land, and she feels very, very strongly about that. You can think, well, what are you ever going to do with it? You can't even access it, you can't even get there now because of the brush.

SS: But she's attached to the place for some reason?

RA: Yeah, it's her place. I mean, that's just an example of how people feel about places, how they can become important to them.

SS: Where was your favorite posting, can you say that you had one?

RA: Posting?


SS: Posting, station? Place you were stationed at, especially those, that first 15-18-20 years before you got kind of more permanent here in the Eugene-Springfield area?

RA: Well, I'm going to give you a wishy-washy answer. A guy, one of my employees asked me that when I was at Sweet Home, you know, we were talking about, well, all the different places I'd been. I worked on four different ranger districts in the Willamette Forest, worked in eastern Oregon, worked on the Coast. And he said, "Where's your favorite?" And I said, "You know, I think it's where I'm at, at this point in time." It's just, it's the one I'm working at.

SS: But that goes along with what you were saying all along about I'm ready for the next challenge?

RA: Well, I want to be ready for the next challenge, but that doesn't mean I don't like what I'm doing at that point in time. I've enjoyed every assignment I've had. I haven't had a bad assignment, other than maybe that 10 years of land 02:56:00management planning.

SS: A little tongue-in-cheek there?

RA: The "lost decade" [1980s].

SS: In the "lost decade." But do you have, what would be some favorite places you have, just out there in nature? Camping spots, fishing spots?

RA: Yeah, there's a trail, I don't know if you're that familiar with the Old Cascades and the New Cascades? The New Cascades are the recent volcanoes, the Three Sisters.

SS: Yeah, I know, yeah.

RA: You know, Mt. Jeff.

SS: Geologically, yes.

RA: Yeah, geologically. And then west of the New Cascades is a lower range of mountains that have been there.

SS: Yeah, they're much older.

RA: Much older, a different geologic type. And the greatest definition of that is if you drive up Highway 20 from Sweet Home to Santiam Pass, you go over 02:57:00Tombstone Pass, which is the Old Cascades, and then you drop down, and then you get up over Santiam Pass. Well, in that Tombstone Pass area, there's a trail that goes up to, oh, I'm not going to remember the name of it. There's Iron Mountain Lookout, and it has great wildflowers, but if you walk on around to the west, there's a trail that loops around for three or four miles and comes out in Tombstone Pass. There's a great meadow along the side of one of those Old Cascades, almost mountains, worn-down mountains, I guess would be a way of saying it. That's a favorite place for me. For 10 years after I retired, I volunteered to maintain that trail up there. I've told my kids that that's the 02:58:00place to put my ashes.

SS: And what's the name of the mountain, it's by Iron Mountain then?

RA: I could tell you. I mean, let me look in my file here. So, the area's Cone Peak Meadow, which is on the side of Cone Peak, which is one of the old, worn-down Cascades that's just west of Iron Mountain Lookout.

SS: Is there a name why it's Cone Peak, the shape or -- ?

RA: I think the shape.

SS: Okay. Yeah, I have many favorite places. It just depended on where I was in my life.

RA: Yeah.

SS: I mean, there's a few that will always be inspirational, but I think favorites can change over the course of a lifetime for many people. Now, how have your views about the ethical responsibility of the forester and land manager evolved? And if you were going to kind of put a capstone on it to today now well into your retirement, you know, toward human society and the natural world?


RA: Just ask that question again?

SS: I kind of mangled it there a little bit. How have your views about the ethical responsibilities of the forest and land manager evolved during your career toward human society and the non-human natural world, and even extend that from your active Forest Service days into the retirement years?

RA: Well, the Forest Service has always prided itself in having a strong ethical approach to management. And some folks take issue with that, and probably rightly so in some instances, but that's always been, that as the strong culture of the Forest Service is an ethical approach. I think how that's changed over time is through more knowledge, more understanding. Developing different ways to 03:00:00look at the natural system from a standpoint of not isolated instances or areas, but from a much broader perspective, from an ecosystem standpoint. And understanding not only there are interrelationships between everything that's going on in the forest, but understand what those relationships are, and how impacting one aspect has repercussions much beyond that single approach you might be looking at.

SS: Yeah, I always had the impression, although I haven't done research on this subject, that Forest Service managers, regardless of the era and dominant paradigm, utilitarian versus more holistic management, that the ethics, that 03:01:00there was always a pretty-strong ethic in the Forest Service. In other words, they couldn't be "bribed." That that's always been an ethic, even before the modern holistic management days. And that that's been pretty-true all along?

RA: Yeah, and that comes from Gifford Pinchot. I mean, you look at his early readings and you look at his approach to managing the national forests, and that's very, very strong.

SS: We're almost done. Now, what experiences have you had outside the Pacific Northwest, living, traveling or working, perhaps that you haven't talked about yet, as a youth or early in your professional life or even later, which provided 03:02:00context and points of comparison for how you viewed the Northwest coniferous forest's ecology and the Cascades? Big picture.

RA: That almost sounds like a leading question. But I'll go beyond that. I've always liked to travel. I've always been really interested in rural areas and rural communities and spaces outside civilization. I don't know where that comes from. I don't try and fight it, I just try and go with it. And I'm a birder, I like to look at birds. And I've got a good friend that for the last, probably close to 15 years, every year we take a 10-day to two-week trip somewhere to 03:03:00look at birds. And so, I've seen the whole southern part of the country from East Coast to West Coast, we've been up in Canada. And really seen. When you bird, you're doing a lot of other things, too, you're driving through national parks, you're driving through wildlife refuges, you're driving through national monuments, and historic sites and through different communities and you can get immersed in all of that, and still bird. That's what we've done. And so, I've just seen a lot of this country and I always liked coming back to the Pacific Northwest. We've got a unique area here. Fortunately, our climate, a fairly-mild climate and a moist climate, gives us a lot of vegetation, and aesthetically, very pretty, and economically, lots of opportunities. So, I mean, I don't know 03:04:00if that answers your question.

SS: No, that's perfect. I mean, it's just like that kind of travel provides context for this place. How does the birding compare?

RA: Birding's, where we go. I mean, we go to places during migration, and so we expect to see a lot of birds. But you can't hardly beat the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge south of Burns. It's a great place for birding.

SS: What are some of your favorite species there?

RA: Oh, people ask me that question, too, and it gets back to, I like seeing birds in their natural habitat. I'm not really interested in them if they're not. For instance, the last few years, there's been a northern mockingbird, which is not a western Oregon bird, spend a winter down the road here in 03:05:00Alvadore. And it took me about two years to go down there and look at it, because, what, I'm seeing a mockingbird outside of its habitat. What is that experience? So, but anyway, birds, I like powerful birds like pileated woodpeckers, golden eagles. But, actually, just whatever I'm looking at. Looking at robins is great.

SS: Have you seen a change in the patterns, migration and otherwise, as climate change is becoming more real?

RA: No. But I haven't consciously, I haven't documented things in a way that would tell me, seasonally. Every year, you see things different. Like this year, I haven't seen very many violet-green swallows out on my property. Usually, I 03:06:00get tree swallows and violet-green swallows, and I have nest boxes up for them. They both come in about equal amounts, about the same time. This year, I've seen a lot of tree swallows, not very many violet-green swallows. But I can't say that's because of climate change.

SS: You're not out doing bird counts in other words?

RA: Right, yeah.

SS: What about up the McKenzie River Valley? What are some of the species up there?

RA: Well, birds like to go around water, so if you're on any of the reservoirs or open-meadowed areas, you see birds. You don't see a lot of birds in the forest. Birds like edge cover, you know, where they can have protection from vegetation, and get out in the open to feed. And there's some forest birds, woodpeckers, flickers, some warblers, but if you're really looking for good 03:07:00birding, you don't go up in the forest.

SS: You ever been to Ramsey Canyon in Arizona?

RA: Oh, yeah. Several times.

SS: Madera Canyon?

RA: Yeah, a number of times. The first time I went there, I was just blown away. I hadn't been in the Southwest birding and I probably saw fifty new birds that I hadn't seen before.

SS: Well, the thing that's amazing about Arizona in those, what they call, the "Sky Islands" of the Southwest; the Huachucas and Ramsey Canyon, and the Santa Ritas and Madera Canyon, and all those big mountains down there, is they recreate multiple life-zone dynamics within one mountain range, where they even say that a lot of these birds can recreate the migrational climate changes without ever leaving. In other words, having to go far, how many thousands of miles are you going to have to fly? I mean, that's my crude take, not being a "bird-ologist." I'm forgetting my word right now. But, is it ornithologist, 03:08:00right? An ornithologist, I want that on the record. I think we're done.

(Break in audio)

SS: When you look at the Andrews today, with its fully-developed campus, how would you characterize its evolution? I mean, that's physical infrastructure, but it's very symbolic of a maturation process, but how would you characterize its growth?

RA: Well, its growth was slow and, I mean, evolution is the right term. They started out with tents, and then the Willamette Forest thought they were doing them a great favor by moving some old trailers that they had in Oakridge over there. And they were doing them a great favor, but the trailers weren't all that great, but they were better than a tent. And they've just slowly built and built 03:09:00and built. And I think that's reflecting the growing recognition and respect that our political world has for the H.J. Andrews, because none of that would have happened without congressional appropriations. And so, they've worked that well and they're getting a return in that respect and confidence.

SS: And you always heard the name that they used to call the old trailer park up there, the "Ghetto in the Meadow?"

RA: Yeah, right.

SS: And the stories about somebody falling through the floor of the shower one time?

RA: Yeah, it's come a long ways. When, I don't get up there very often. When I did, it's, geez, you know, none of this was here when I started out.

SS: You've been to HJA Days, haven't you?

RA: Not recently.

SS: And how would you describe the evolution of the Willamette National Forest 03:10:00since you've been involved with it for really so many years, professionally, even knowing what's going on after you've been retired?

RA: Well, I'm a grumpy-old retiree. You know, I'm not, I don't look at the current forest super-positively. I'm a product of my mentors, who were old-time Forest Service folks, the old can-do, we'll make it work, strong work ethic, strong Forest Service ethic. And we just seem real scattered now, real dispersed. I'm not sure where the forests are heading, and as an agency, we don't seem to be able to get a handle on that. And we've lost our leadership 03:11:00role, I think. We're not leaders, we're just trying to hang on. And maybe when you get to that point, you shouldn't be hanging on. We should be providing leadership. You know, one time, we were the eminent natural resource management agency in the world. I don't know that there are many people who would give us that thought now.

SS: I would say Rolf that we have wrapped it up very well. We've talked for three hours and fifteen minutes almost on the record, so I want to thank you very much for meeting with me today and being part of this project on the H.J. Andrews history and about your own career. Thank you.

RA: Okay, Sam, well, thank you for the opportunity.