And the winners in the new era of competitive bidding for jobs in California's national forests are ... current staffers. About 535 employees who maintain trails, facilities and grounds in the state's 18 national forests will keep their jobs after a study showed they are doing the work more cheaply and better than the private sector could.
One of those who welcomed the results of the study was Maribeth Gustafson, Lake Tahoe Basin forest service supervisor. "I am very pleased that the study determined that our own forest service performance of these duties was found to be more efficient than to contract out these duties," she said.
The bidding policy, which has been controversial since it was implemented by the Bush administration this year, calls for private sector competition for numerous jobs now held by government workers. Next on the hook: vehicle and road maintenance workers, who hope to out-repair all comers.
-- J. Michael Kennedy