© a Quinn Martin production
Lots of you have been asking what you can do to help. This year's resolution is to affect change on The Angeles and take back OUR forest. I will have an online petition circulating soon. Thanks everybody.

I originally wanted to blog about my adventures in the San Gabriel Mountains. I have some good stories, like the time I took a donkey to Ralph's Supermarket. But then the Station Fire started. I realized that there is much that needs to be brought to the attention of the mountain going public. Most folks are kept in the dark about how the Angeles National Forest operates. I will raise issues that are important to me, which are hopefully important to all citizens, but if you have any suggestions for discussion here, I am willing.

Here's the big agenda: Forest Supervisor Jody Noiron. I've made a few smart remarks and cryptic comments about her. But now, with the backing of some knowledgeable and trusted friends, it is time for a concerted effort to have her removed from her post. Stay tuned for details. And if you have any information you would like to contribute, anonymously or not, email me at gregsweet4@yahoo.com

I will get to some of the stories, sooner or later. Also, I want to make it clear that I no longer work at Adams' Pack Station, that these words are my own, and that the pack station is not the source of my information - they don't want trouble.

More Morale Busting

I have told you here how little Jody Noiron thinks of her staff. The low morale on The Angeles is just one reason I want her to disappear. Her bad reputation is well-known in all Forest and Firefighting circles. The following is a discussion thread from a wildfire forum...

More Morale busting from Line Officers

While here in DC working on behalf of our Nation's wildland firefighters I was disappointed to learn that an invitation from firefighters on the Angeles National Forest for me to speak at their Fire & Aviation Management meeting later this month in La Canada, has been nixed by Forest Supervisor Jody Noiron.

My intent in accepting this invitation was to keep folks apprised of what's going on in Washington. It was not my intent to "bash" management so I am a bit dumbfounded as to why the FWFSA continues to intimidate [worry] Ms. Noiron.

Given the fact that the Forest Service Chief has commissioned yet another morale study along with the fact that I will be meeting with the USDA's Deputy Undersecretary of Agriculture for Natural Resources and Environment, Mr. Jay Jensen tomorrow I will be certain to inform him of this decision by the ANF Forest Supervisor as indicative of the morale-busting intimidation often felt by firefighters on many California National Forests...

Casey Judd
Business Manager
[Federal Wildland Fire Service Association]

Casey & the folks on the Angeles:

"I find it very interesting, albeit not at all surprising, that Jody Noiron would nix your meeting invite. What did you expect? A fair and supportive environment where everyone can feel free to contribute to making a more productive, more safe and often less wasteful work environment? From her? Are you serious?

This is in stride with other decisions made by her. It's not a secret (certainly not a well kept one by many Angeles employees) and it won't change until other obvious changes are made.

Hopefully there will be a way for you as a forest to meet with everyone regardless of the morale busting behavior of the forest supervisor. And I think it's appalling that you might have to sneak around and figure out an alternative that might pass muster, how degrading.

Anyone who is truly supportive of their staff, as well as its morale and safety, will support open discussion at all levels. One of the clear lessons we know (and hopefully have learned) from history is that this sort of short-term thinking creates rifts between management and those people (yes, we are people/humans and we should be treated with some degree of respect Ms. Noiron) that actually do the physical labor. To treat employees in such a manner by not allowing them to speak and listen freely invites even more of a lack of respect towards management and ultimately it tells us that someone has no clue as to what real needs are on a forest.

Good going in the morale busting race for this season Ms. Noiron! (You're probably in the lead)"

Just a plain old firefighter

The Angeles, Chiefs Sensing Group and having each other's backs:

"Thanks for the update on the "progressive" Forest leadership coming out of the Angeles.

In response to that, I'd like to invite Casey to speak at our upcoming annual Forest-wide Fire meeting. I'll be in touch with Casey about the details. We have some meticulous note-takers and will share important fire information discussed at this meeting with anyone interested, and in particular, with our brothers and sisters in Fire Management on the Angeles. I encourage fellow fire managers throughout the U.S. to extend the same invitation and make appropriate arrangements (maybe Casey doesn't want us filling up his travel itinerary -- sorry Casey) . Just finished some work on the M581 course that dealt with "leadership" and also recently sent two employees to a Regional Leadership course. It's amazing the disparity between what the agency presents as admirable leadership traits in its training courses and the agency's tolerance for the garbage that passes for leadership in its daily operations.

And yes, JMM, the roster of the Chief's sensing group speaks volumes. 206th headed to 216th faster than greased lightning... But there is something we can all do, and that's to have each others' backs. A Forest Sup in CA wants to muzzle an important voice in the fire world? Then the rest of us need to step up to the plate and turn up the volume -- and -- turn the tables on this unfortunate situation. Yeah Jodi, count the fingers, you're number 1.
[his way of giving Jody "the finger"]

Keep up the good work Casey and All."


Of course, these are my own excerpts. These are part of many conversations in March of this year. But you will not find a positive thing about Jody anywhere on the thread or the entire site, however there was a little backpedaling by the man that started the discussion, the kind a guy does when he has spoken his mind then gets chewed out: "To All: It certainly wasn't my intent to create a firestorm of an issue regarding my post about not be able to speak at the ANF [Angeles National Forest]. There might have been some miscommunication but also a lack of clear understanding of what the FWFSA is and what we do." The whole web page is at: http://www.wildlandfire.com/arc/2010c_mar.htm

I find this statement particularly intriguing: "...the fact that the Forest Service Chief has commissioned yet another morale study..." What's taking them so long to figure it out?

1 comment:

Pasadena Adjacent said...

I'm on a page in Face book that WAS called "Station Fire Aftermath and Investigation"

Just the other day I got an e-mail saying they had changed it to "Station Fire Coverup and Investigation Updates - Angeles National Forest"

the link to the above

Heres a video of the start of the fire that I find telling (listen to the dialogue)