Posted by: davepidgeon | October 5, 2009

Jarvis takes the helm

What’s up, Pointers?

Just a quick stop to let you all know that the Senate finally on Sept. 25 confirmed Jon Jarvis as director of the National Park Service. Now, the NPS and the U.S. Interior Department can finally get on with the business of caring for and overseeing the nation’s park land.

Jarvis’ confirmation quickly drew praise from the National Parks Conservation Association and silence from one of his – and the Interior’s – biggest critics, U.S. Sen. Tom Coburn of Oklahoma. Coburn was one of two senators who blocked Jarvis’ confirmation, strangely making unspecified demands for information regarding the Grand Canyon. But those problems seem, for the moment, to have evaporated.

I like Jarvis, I’ll admit. Mainly, I applaud his efforts to listen to both sides of an issue like snowmobiles in Yellowstone or dicey tribal land swaps as he attempts to draw up satisfactory solutions. He’s shown an independence streak having stood up to the Bush administration, putting his job with the NPS on the line as he clashed with the White House over conservation issues. I also admire the man’s pluck since, after all, he’s stood at Mt. Rainier’s summit twice.

Alright, my stay at Compass Points could only be brief, and I must return to a life of packing boxes, buying a house and working on a few articles, including some stuff for Backpacker Magazine.

Be back Oct. 19. Hike on!

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