Department of Inconvenience

by Andrew Stiles

The National Parks Service (NPS) has a history of going out of its way to inconvenience the public during budget disputes — a reputation that was on full display during the recent government shutdown. As one Park Service ranger confided to the Washington Times: “We’ve been told to make life as difficult for people as we can. It’s disgusting.”

Apparently, that commitment to inconvenience extends to other, more mundane, facets of the NPS operation. The agency has repeatedly frustrated the House Oversight Committee’s efforts to get information and hear testimony from NPS director Jon Jarvis. Here is chairman Darrell Issa (R., Calif.) dressing down Jarvis at an October 16 hearing:

The committee had to subpoena Jarvis’s testimony, as he would not agree to testify without one. Issa has also issued a subpoena for documents that NPS had agreed to hand over voluntarily but has thus far failed to produce.

On top of that, a committee aide tells National Review Online that NPS refused to accept an electronic copy of the supoena for those documents, which is “highly unusual,” the aide said, and resulted in a House intern having to hand deliver a paper copy of the subpoena to NPS. 

One has to admire their consistency.