WHITE RIVER NATIONAL FOREST, Colo. — Officials with the U.S. Forest Service announced Monday they will begin a new awareness program whereby agent recruits will be taught the importance of seeing not just the forest, but also the trees.
Walter Raymond, deputy assistant director of the USFS training academy here, said a recently completed study by the department found that agents were “so into” their jobs they often missed out on how enjoyable it can be to harass American citizens using forests their tax dollars pay for.
“Some people would give anything to be able to have a job where they’re around nature all day,” Raymond said. “But we’ve been training our agents to ignore all of that and just do their jobs — hording federal land, harassing campers, and fining hunters.
“There is so much more to being a member of the Forest Service though,” Raymond continued. “We want our agents to ‘stop and smell the roses’ once in a while or, in this case, the whispering pines.”
Asked if the new awareness training was meant to deemphasize USFS agents’ law enforcement role, Raymond quick shook his head.
“No, of course not,” he said. “We want agents to be just as hard-nosed and unreasonable as always. We just want them to enjoy it more while they’re at it.”