Water Resources People and Issues
Q: How did you get involved in the Hoover Commission? Were you invited, or
were you interested in joining that effort?
A: I never knew who nominated me. Hoover asked me if I'd serve on that task
force. The chairman of it was Leslie Miller, who was then governor of
Wyoming. It was a fascinating enterprise.
Q: Had your feelings about the Corps of Engineers changed at all by this time?
By the late forties, of course, there was a significant amount of bad press as
a result of some reservoir projects in particular. How did you feel about the
Corps at this time?
A: I don't think my feeling about the Corps has changed significantly over the
years. I think it's about the same now as it was then, although the Corps
itself had changed during that period. My attitude towards it has always been
that the Corps was headed by very intelligent, bright people; that the form of
organization in which commissioned officers had the responsibility for making
all the major decisions was unfortunate and a handicap to the Corps; that it
was assiduous in carrying out whatever jobs were handed to it; and that by
virtue of its organization it was very, very slow to change but capable of
changing. And I see the Corps as having been in that posture in the 1930s
and I see it so today.
Q: Well, I'll get back to that later on, of course, particularly in line with the
book you may have read by [Daniel A.] Mazmanian and [Jeanne] Nienaber,
Can Organization Change ? Have you seen that book?
A: No, I haven't. In fact, I haven't heard about it.
Q: Well, I'll get you a copy. Your dissertation was published by the University
A: Not by the press, but by the Geography Department.
Q: And it then gained some reputation around the country. You must have
gotten some inquiries about it from people interested in the same sort of
things you're interested in. Do you see any impact of it politically? Do you