Petroglyph: Why one staffer quit

  Dear HCN,

Cathy Robbins' article on the hideous situation at Petroglyph is right on target (HCN, 10/25/99). As a former NPS staffer there (I was chief of Interpretation and Cultural Resources from 1994-1998) who fled in terror under Judith Cordova's reign, I can elaborate on several points in the article. Ms. Cordova did indeed make it clear to the staff on several occasions to steer clear of Ike Eastvold while also actively discouraging any worthwhile dialogue with the City of Albuquerque Open Space staff. We continued to meet regularly regardless, in order to keep serving the public as efficiently as possible.

Cordova's comment on Matt Schmader (-Matt knows nothing that goes on in the monument ..." ) is typical of the arrogant and disdainful attitude she displays toward Open Space staff and her own staff. To imply that Dr. Schmader's 25-year involvement with the petroglyph area is insufficient compared to her four-year tenure as superintendent is ludicrous.

Regarding the "96-page book" she "produced" about the Atrisco Land Grant: I was initially in charge of coordinating the production of what was to be a simple, elegant text at a cost of about $3,000 to the American taxpayer. Because of the numerous changes wrought by Ms. Cordova both in editorial content and design, the book turned into a $12,000 vanity project to court Westland Development Corp.

Finally, in the two years I worked for Ms. Cordova, she did everything she could to discredit my performance, lie about my abilities, and treat me with disdain due to my lack of ethnic affiliation. When I confronted her boss, John King, with documented facts, I was pretty much told "Gee, sure hope you find a better job somewhere else." Which is exactly what I did.

I left the National Park Service after 27 years of faithful and outstanding service, and am now enjoying a revitalized career with the BLM, of all places.

Greg Gnesios

Las Vegas, Nevada

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