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A man of integrity

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Dear HCN,

It was with considerable personal interest I read the article "Forest Service dunked by its own witch hunt" (HCN, 8/8/94) as the mention of Paul Senteney provided a personal link to the national story.

As a wildlife biologist for the San Juan National Forest in 1971, Senteney was one of the initial people to contact me when I began my first job, as a reporter for the Durango Herald.

"How would you like to see some elk?" he asked over the phone one afternoon. He picked me up the next morning and we drove out to the Animas Valley north of town where the elk that had been grazing there for about a week had decided to move elsewhere - something I've since learned wildlife have an uncanny ability to do! While we didn't find the elk that morning, it did begin a relationship with Paul and an interest in Colorado's wildlife that eventually led to my, at this point, 20-year career with the Colorado Division of Wildlife.

During the following years, I took many trips with him, astride one of his now nationally known Missouri foxtrotters, as we surveyed various Forest Service projects he was developing for wildlife. At the time I was too naive to realize what an anomaly he was in an agency dedicated, for the most part, to timber harvest.

While I have many fond memories of the rides and the stories I was able to write, perhaps the overriding characteristic that comes to mind when I think of Paul is integrity. It is a trait of many employees in the Forest Service, but one the agency as a whole is trying desperately to recover. One can only hope that reaction to the phony charges brought against Senteney, Mumma, et al, and the national political shenanigans in which they found themselves unjustly entangled, doesn't hamstring the sincere efforts of the many dedicated Forest Service field people.

D. Geoffrey Tischbein

Montrose, Colorado

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