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      Interview with Tofte District Ranger Ellen Bogardus-Szymaniak     
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SoMpls
distinguished member (129)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
05/15/2020 09:12AM
Not sure if this has been posted yet, but WTIP had Tofte District Ranger Ellen Bogardus -Szymaniak on for an interview yesterday regarding the forest service's plans in response to the expiration of the stay at home order.

Link: https://www.wtip.org/feds-say-bwca-overnight-use-being-mulled-after-states-stay-home-order-set-expire

Summary:
- The Forest service has been working on determining what their response will be and how to implement it since the announcement was made. Hoping to provide an update by Friday 5/15

- Many moving parts and many partners that have to be in alignment on how to move forward, not just USFS

- Safety of employees and public is the top concern

I thought this ranger did a good job of explaining the factors that they are weighing and some of their thought process.

Reading between the lines I would guess that the USFS was taken by surprise when the stay at home order wasn't extended, and now is scrambling to figure out their next move. I could be wrong obviously but some of her responses really felt this way to me.
 
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TaylorRN
member (7)member
 
05/15/2020 11:33AM
Taken by surprise? There were two options on the table, extend or end the stay at home order. I am aggravated that they didn’t have plans in place to comply with either option. This isn’t rocket science. This is standard planning that anyone with some common sense could have prepared for. Unbelievable.
 
LindenTree
distinguished member(2415)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
05/15/2020 11:35AM
I worked indirectly with Ellen and her husband Jerry Szymaniak for a number of years, both were very talanted and straight shooters. Ellen worked for the Fire Center in Grand Rapids, Mn. Jerry was a fire modeler for the Dept of the interior.
The Tofte Ranger district is in good hands with Ellen at the helm.
 
MidwestFirecraft
distinguished member (422)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
05/15/2020 11:41AM
TaylorRN: "Taken by surprise? There were two options on the table, extend or end the stay at home order. I am aggravated that they didn’t have plans in place to comply with either option. This isn’t rocket science. This is standard planning that anyone with some common sense could have prepared for. Unbelievable. "

Amen!
 
CityFisher74
distinguished member (410)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
05/15/2020 11:42AM
TaylorRN: "Taken by surprise? There were two options on the table, extend or end the stay at home order. I am aggravated that they didn’t have plans in place to comply with either option. This isn’t rocket science. This is standard planning that anyone with some common sense could have prepared for. Unbelievable. "

I agree. If you're flipping a coin, you should have a plan for Tails and a plan for Heads. Not that hard. Anyone in any kind of managerial job right now has a million moving parts. Plan for them.
 
nofish
distinguished member(2673)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
05/15/2020 12:12PM
I agree that it seems like they are being reactive and not proactive. They seem to be waiting for the Governor to make a move and then they start discussions on how to react. They should have instead been proactive and made contingency plans for the various possible outcomes. When they get word on what Walz is going to do they should already know their next steps. Maybe they have to make some small tweaks but they should generally know their plan of action for each scenario before it happens. Then they can get the communication out to all impacted businesses and individuals.

 
GraniteCliffs
distinguished member(1809)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
05/16/2020 08:07PM
Lets see. Walz issues his order Wednesday night. Friday morning the USFS says we are open for business and encourages people to follow the local and state guidelines. No other changes are announced.
I fail to understand how the USFS can be taken to task on this one. Perhaps on some other issues, or maybe a number of issues, but I don't see it in this case.
 
05/19/2020 06:34AM
GraniteCliffs: "Lets see. Walz issues his order Wednesday night. Friday morning the USFS says we are open for business and encourages people to follow the local and state guidelines. No other changes are announced.
I fail to understand how the USFS can be taken to task on this one. Perhaps on some other issues, or maybe a number of issues, but I don't see it in this case."


Agree, aren’t we all surprised by what is going on? I don’t think anyone alive right now has dealt with a potential pandemic like this before. Every decision is going to have some level of uncertainty. Is it too aggressive? Is it not enough? How could any reasonable person be certain of anything? I haven’t heard the interview but that would be my guess as to why there was surprise or apprehension in the Rangers voice.

T
 
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