You are here

Retired NPS Employee Laments New 'Loyalty Oaths'


    Among the challenges the National Park Service is struggling with this fall are efforts by top officials to make the agency’s mid-level managers pledge to support the Bush administration’s policies. While that likely sits wrong with a wide range of Park Service employees, it’s also likely that they won’t speak out for fear of their jobs. That’s understandable.
    However, there’s no muzzle on retired Park Service employees, and one, Catherine Spude, has spoken out quite loudly in an editorial to the Santa Fe New Mexican. Here’s what she had to say:
    "According to a recent Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility press release, all new mid-level managers of the National Park Service will have to swear a fealty oath to the  administration currently in power. In other words, in order to get promoted beyond a "worker bee," employees will be approved by a political appointee, promising to be a "yes person."
    Already are gone the days when the upper management of this nation's parks made decisions that were best for the parks and their visitors, not for the political party currently in Washington. Now, the political creep is moving down into the working ranks.
    A long-held ethic of good, science-based decisions will be over-turned for politically expedient solutions that last only until the results of the next election. The National Park Service's mandate "to preserve and protect...for future generations" has no chance to succeed if civil servants swear to say yes to every political whim."


You have to love this one. The Bush folks are getting paranoid I would say. First, remember that all federal civil servants take an oath to defend the U.S. Constitution. That has been done, well, for a long time (here is a link addressing that history: ( To require a federal employee to swear allegiance to a given current administration sounds a lot like operations in countries the Bush administration early on condemned as evil. If I recall, Governor Bush of Texas did not require this of his state employees. I was living in Texas under his unfortunate governor ship. Ranger Bob

Asking employees to pledge support for the current policy (just what are these "objectionable" policies, btw?) is a hell of a lot different from asking them to swear a "fealty oath to the administration currently in power". Let's hear some more specifics before comdemning the administration on this issue. Awhile ago, the net rumor was that Bush forbade Grand Canyon employees from mentioning that the canyon was millions of years old. That rumor turned out to be false, but was widely believed.

Considering the other things these Bu$hies have done, why on earth would you want to give them the benefit of the doubt? I'm leaning toward believing the worst until it's proven different. The track record is horrible.

strange the link above to the "oath" has been removed by OPM, gee I wonder why? Maybe because it is true and they knew it was wrong? The parks belong to all US citizens not the Bush Adminitstration, like all other administrations, they are just the temporary caretakers, and these people have shown they don't care about taking "care" of anything, just how much can they sell it for.

I'm guessing Ms. Spude does not mean, literally, "swear an oath". I believe that she is referring to a protocol that requires anyone being placed in a higher position to be first "vetted" by a political appointee. Similar to those seeking positions with the CPA in Iraq being vetted on their political views instead of on their substantive qualifications for the job, with predictable results . . .

Add comment

You must have Javascript enabled to use this form.

National Parks Traveler's Essential Park Guide