By on June 7, 2017

Dear Wyoming’s congressional delegation
I would like to write to you today in disappointment of your support for Mr. Trump’s recent announcement regarding the United States withdrawal from the Paris Climate Accord.
I see Mr. Trump’s actions as thinly veiled rhetoric to keep the American (and especially Wyoming) workers in the typewriter industry employed. I am disappointed that you, as a leader of this state, have yet to recognize the future in a technology that will soon replace the typewriter: the computer. Currently, countries like China have booming industries in the manufacture of these new technologies.

Many U.S. states, while perhaps not on the cutting edge of the manufacture of these technologies, are on the cutting edge of use of these technologies. It seems like our own state might have an opportunity to jump into this industry, whether it is the manufacture of these computers, or simply the efficient use and job creation associated with this new technology (which by all measures, is outpacing typewriters both from economic and efficiency standpoints). 

I know, the workers of our state are really good at making typewriters, and really good at using typewriters. But the times are changing and I don’t feel like your support of Mr. Trump’s actions, largely on behalf of the Americans who build and use typewriters, is the correct direction for the people of this state. Yes, there will always be a small niche for typewriters (I hear the Portland “hipster” scene has been a strong market in recent years), but I would hate to have all my state’s investments tied up in stock from Royal or Smith Corona when there is opportunity to invest in companies like Apple, Microsoft, IBM, and others.

I urge you to re-think your support of Mr. Trump’s withdrawal of the United States from the Paris Climate Accord, and consider the opportunities our state has in transitioning our current workforce towards the technologies and job creation of the future (computers!).

 – Ben Johnson  

On The Buzz: “A Man’s World,” May 31

I didn’t like this article. It was inconsistent—women are capable to do burly jobs but completely incapable of speaking up for themselves. I wonder if the young woman whom didn’t return a second season, if she had said something to her boss while it was going on ( it’s called sexual harassment and most bosses take it seriously) if things could have been different. I mean you can’t blame someone for a sexist environment if you don’t speak up. You need to make people aware in order to give them a chance to change it. And not only did she not mention it to her boss, she participated in it and …… what? Am I suppose to feel like she suffered some injustice because she made a choice to Stay silent as well join in? They way this article written, it makes it seem like women still need men to save them from this injustice. Save yourselves ladies! Speak up and take action! PS the article also fails to mention that men way outnumber women in Jackson so it would be logical there would be more males employed than females.

– Alycia Patencio

You’re right, silence is permission. However, I know many stories of women guides reporting harassment to their trip leaders and bosses and being fired for being “emotionally immature and difficult to work with.” To climb the guiding ladder and be recommended by supervisors for elite guiding jobs, silence is mandated. A female guide cannot be a squeaky wheel and advance. So yes, in this instance, pioneer and silent can coexist and are actually requisite for advancement in the field.

– Bridget Crocker

The Forest Service takes all harassment very seriously whether it be employee, outfitter, guide, customer, etc. If someone chooses to file one, reports go immediately to the Chief of the Forest Service. There is no tolerance for even non-participatory acts like condoning or claiming ignorance when it’s your job to know what’s up and protect employees. Always happy to talk or answer questions at 307.739.5417. Great article on a topic that was pervasive in the guiding industries I worked in years ago.

– David Cernicek

Silence is NOT permission. Silence is fear. That statement is inherently victim-blaming. You can’t tell someone they’re responsible for what happened to them because they didn’t speak up about it. How about we teach people not to be violent and discriminatory?

– Lucy Tompkins

On The New West: “Sage Civil Servitude,” May 31

During a 32-year career in the National Park Service, I worked for several superintendents, but none were the equal of Bob. He was my boss, but more than that, he was a good friend and counselor. I was thrilled to learn that he was coming to Yellowstone. Finally, I thought, Interpretive Division would get the attention it needed, and a fair share of the budget. And, it happened.

Bob’s mischievous sense of humor was memorably expressed in several annual budget presentations by division chiefs directed, I think, at me, a fellow interpreter. On one occasion I entered the staff room to find Bob and the other division chiefs (including the chief ranger full armed and wearing a Kevlar vest) all sitting at a table in front a single chair illuminated by two spotlights. I had expected something, and rose to the occasion with my visual aid, a large recumbent sow representing the total park budget, with suckling piglets representing the various divisions. I then suggested that the Interpretive Division should move closer to the sow’s head. Others may speak of the annual staff “Death March,” into the backcountry, a classic Barbee week-long team building exercise. I’m happy to say that I survived.

I have many fond memories of the times that I shared with Bob. He was an extraordinarily skilled and sensitive manager, kind, generous, understanding, yet decisive and firm when circumstances required. His leadership during the epic fires of 1988 and the media firestorms that followed are models for future park managers during similar crises. I am proud to have known and worked with Bob. I miss him.

– George Robinson

Bob opened every Yellowstone door for the Denver Post, which led to “Letters from Yellowstone.” I came back to cover the fires, and he agreed to write a forward for “Summer of Fire.” When I uncovered and included stuff that pissed him off he kept his commitment, disagreeing openly. A genuine, honest, man of his word, a public servant in the truest sense. He must be boiling beneath the Firehole today.

– Jim Carrier

About Various Authors

Sometimes it takes a village.

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