Wednesday, October 16, 2013

My Apologies To The Park Service

Sort of.

All this time I had been reporting the decisions made as to how the Park and Memorial closures have come down during the partial government shutdown, I had placed blame squarely on the shoulders of Parks Management leaving the Administration as somewhat distant supervisors who issued only general instructions and did not know details. I have been critical of other decisions Parks has made in the past on several other matters, and was very vocal about the spitefulness of closing the WW2 Monument and Parks features such as scenic overlooks, privately funded museums, and picnic areas here in this post and elsewhere on the web.

This afternoon, I came across this video of the Congressional testimony given today of Parks Service Director Jarvis before the Committee that is investigating how these decisions were made.
National Park Service director Jarvis said he discussed closing the open-air monuments and memorials with the White House, as well as the secretary of the Interior Department:

"Yes, I did," says the director when asked whether he discussed the closures with the secretary of the Interior Department.

"You didn't discuss it with anyone in the White House, did you?" asks a congressman.

"Um, in -- several times, on the phone, with the White House, I presented with the secretary my decision," says the director. "But it was never the reverse--"

"So you discussed with officials in the White House your action?"

"That's right," he says.

While it is not said who in the White House he discussed his plans with, since he was on a conference call with the Secretary of the Interior, it is safe to say that the individual in the White House was fairly high up in the President's Staff.

What this means is he said words to the effect of "I plan to put barricades around the WW2 Monument and will arrest anybody who tries to get in." and nobody at the White House, and certainly not the Secretary of the Interior, thought that was a bad idea.


  1. So Interior said "Make life miserable. . ." or what do you plan to do to make this hurt" and in response Parks director said "I plan to put up barricades and arrest people."

    1. Essentially, yes.

      And the answer from the White House was essentially "OK. Cool."