As the Trujillo Meadows Campground Renovation project nears the half way point, and we will soon be able to open up half of it for campers, we were sitting around our new campfire ring talking about how this project has gone so far.
Being from the Ouachita National Forest, we have worked with the forest service on many occasions in the past. Both socially and professionally.
We have been aware for many years that the forest service is a competent manager of America’s Natural resources. We have been also aware that they still manage to get their job done though they are often times harried by unreasonable external forces.
This project has given us new insight into the grass root, nuts and bolts level of it, because as campground managers, we were allowed to stay on sight.
The onsite team of young USFS professionals supervised several volunteer groups and contractors that range in age from senior citizens ( the area where we fall in ), to middle school students, with ease and quiet competence.
The range of the list that has been accomplished so far is truly astounding. This has proved to be a much larger construction project than we had imagined. At one point in time the flow of materials for the various projects covered over an acre of storage, even though materials were daily taken from the storage to the individual campsites that were being renovated. Some materials were delivered by the various contractors to designated locations through out the campground and were never kept at the storage area. Items such as base material, gravel, landscaping rock and salvage materials dumpsters, never made it to the storage area, otherwise it might have enlarged the storage area to several acres.
USFS district managers for the various departments that were involved reviewed progress and gave briefings to the USFS onsite crew in low keyed gatherings around a pickup truck tailgate where paper work was spread out, almost daily. Often times these meetings were so subtle that someone could walk up, ask a question, get an answer, walk away back to their job, and never realize that the tailgate planning session had took back up where they were when they walked up with a question.
To say the least, we are impressed !
Daily, we hear news reports of government incompetence, blatant bungling, delays and cost over runs. This old redneck says, “they ain’t none of that here !”
These quiet competent professionals are bringing this project in on time and are even doing little extra things to make the campground better for it’s campers.
So, news media, where are you when a good job being well done needs to be reported ?