Mission Statement:

Dedicated to Bringing Transparency to NPS Management Actions and Decisions

Sunday, August 25, 2013

America's Worst Idea

America's Worst Idea 

Dear Reader:

This is a rather old-school blog.  You will not find anything flashy or eye-catching here. My attempt with this blog is to shed light on the issues of social and human justice that we all struggle with.  I worked for the National Parks Service (NPS) for ten years and was completely invested in concept of the National Parks as "America's Best Idea," a concept so effectively promulgated by Ken Burn's beautiful documentary.   After 9 years of faithful and outstanding service, I found myslef at odds with my vindictive and abusive supervisor.  Naively believing that the NPS was indeed the honorable, moral, and sincere organization the Ken Burn's described, I attempted to first address the issues with supervisor to the superintendent of my park.  When that failed, I brought my concerns to the attention of the regional NPS office.

Long story short-- I was forced out of the NPS by the combined might of my supervisor, superintendent, and the regional NPS office.  NPS management is one of the most corrupt systems in the US federal government.  I sincerely believe that the concept of National Parks is truly "America's Best Idea."  Placing such national treasures in the hands of a predatory and abusive bureaucracy like NPS management is a really, really bad idea.  Placing the an agency like the NPS in the position of stewards over sites of conscience and social justice is morally wrong and counter-productive.  NPS management lacks the honor, dignity, and integrity to represent the highest ideals of American democracy.  Placing critical historic sites of injustices in the hands of the NPS is in itself an injustice and is "America's Worst Idea."  

Maybe we cannot change all the injustice in the world.   I believe that we can begin a new age of accountability and transparency if we have the courage to bring light to the injustices that bureaucracies try to hide with levels of secrecy and "confidentiality." But we need to start somewhere.  I say, let's start with the NPS.  Let us speak about what has been forbidden.  Would not it be something if we could transform this high-profile agency into a standard for honor and integrity?

Chad Montreaux
Newell, CA

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