Profiles in Courage Collect 'em all! Environmental heroes who went down swinging. By Dan Oko
RESTORING INTEGRITY TO THE NATION'S environmental and public-lands agencies will be one of the first challenges our next president faces. Over the past eight years, President George W. Bush's political appointees to the EPA and the Interior Department have fired or forced out hundreds of dedicated career employees. Some left noisily, while many others quietly took early retirement, often expressing heartbreak at what had become of their agencies. Just this April hundreds of EPA scientists told investigators from the nonprofit Union of Concerned Scientists that they had faced political interference in their jobs. Many said they were afraid to speak up for fear of retribution.
With the help of Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility, the Union of Concerned Scientists, and other watchdog organizations, Sierra chose a small sample of these heroic civil servants. When it comes time to staff the environmental agencies, the next president could do worse than pick from those who stood up for public health and lands at the expense of their own careers.