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INTERVIEW WITH JIM CARROLL BY DOROTHE NORTON FEBRUARY 19, 2003 Also present Mrs. Joan Carroll MS. NORTON: Good afternoon Jim. It’s nice to see you. It was easy to find your place, because you gave me good directions. MR. CARROLL: Good, thank you. MS. NORTON: So we’ll do this interview and when it’s completed, it is sent in to Washington or actually, to the National Conservation Training Center at Shepherdstown, West Virginia. They have a temporary service, which transcribes them. When they are transcribed they go in to the archives. And if you’d like to have a copy when it is completed, we can request that. MR. CARROLL: Okay, I would. That sounds good. MS. NORTON: So Jim, what is your birthplace and birth date? MR. CARROLL: My birthplace was Atlanta, Georgia. And I was born on May 4, 1937. MS. NORTON: What were your folk’s names? And what was their education? MR. CARROLL: My father was James M. Carroll. I am James M. Carroll, Jr. My mother’s name was Rosa Lena Cousins Carroll. Cousins was her maiden name. Dad had some education past high school. He was a tool designer and draftsman. My mother went to college for a year, or possibly a little more, but that was it. MS. NORTON: Did your mother have a job then, after she got married? MR. CARROLL: No, she stayed at home. I have two brothers, and two sisters. MS. NORTON: So what was your dad’s job then? MR. CARROLL: During World War II he worked at the Bell bomber plant. He worked on the design team for B-29s. He did something to do with the B-29s. I am not exactly sure what. We moved to Arizona when I was twelve and he had a number of jobs out there working for mining companies, drafting and such. MRS. CARROLL: He worked on aircraft too. MR. CARROLL: He was aircraft also out there when the B-29s were reconditioned for Korea. MS. NORTON: How did you spend your early years when you were just a boy? MR. CARROLL: I was a…even when I was young, I was active in Boy Scouts. I got in to that as early on as I could in Cub Scouts. As a matter of fact, I have completed my fifty years as a Scout. I’ve been active in Church all along also. My interest in wildlife grew out of Scouting. MS. NORTON: Did you ever have any jobs as a kid? MR. CARROLL: No, nothing in particular, just odds and ends, but nothing in particular. MS. NORTON: Did you hunt or fish? MR. CARROLL: Not much, no. Just a little bit; I went fishing a couple of times with my grandfather and did a little bit of hunting actually, when I got into FWS but that was about it. MS. NORTON: What high school did you attend? MR. CARROLL: I went to Tucson High School. We had a graduating class of about a thousand. The school had a population of about six thousand students. It was the largest in the country at the time. MS. NORTON: What year did you graduate? MR. CARROLL: 1955. MS. NORTON: Did you go to university then? MR. CARROLL: Yeah, the University of Arizona. I started out in Business and Public Administration. I had done fire control work with the Park Service during the summer and found out that I was headed for a desk job with that, so I changed to Wildlife Management as a major. I graduated in that with a Bachelor or Science in Liberal Arts with a major in Wildlife Management. MS. NORTON: When did you get that degree? MR. CARROLL: That was in 1962. Oh, excuse me; that was in 1966. We got married in 1962! MS. NORTON: Did you go on then for a Master’s degree? MR. CARROLL: No. In fact, I don’t know how you’ve got this segmented, but …. Well, go ahead with your questions, and I can go back. MS. NORTON: Who most influenced your education and your career? Did you have any mentors or courses that especially stuck with you? MR. CARROLL: Just by experiences in Scouting. Then, a friend and I got jobs with the Park Service doing that kind of work. When I switched over to Wildlife Management in college, we had an interviewer come by. I can’t remember his name but he was interviewing for student/trainee positions with the FWS. So I ended up basically in the first semester that I was in Wildlife Management, signing up for FWS. I had very little practical experience in terms of wildlife but I was learning a lot and absorbing it as quickly as I could. We were married that April of that same semester. Our honeymoon was at Bosque Del Apache in New Mexico on my first student/trainee job; at least that’s how we looked at it. MS. NORTON: Did you ever serve in the Armed Services? MR. CARROLL: Yeah, I put in eight years in the Marine Reserve, with six months of active duty out of that. I signed up with my parent’s permission right at the end of Korea. I was seventeen. I got out about two weeks before the ….because of my student/trainee program, they were reluctant to let me go to that and not go to summer camp. I completed my eight years, and rather than “re-up” so to speak, I got out. Two weeks later, they closed it off for Vietnam and wouldn’t let anyone out. MS. NORTON: What were your duty stations? MR. CARROLL: I just went through recruit training in San Diego and then to Camp Pendleton for the six month advanced combat training; but no active duty other than that. MS. NORTON: Did the military service relate in any way to your employment with FWS? MR. CARROLL: No. MS. NORTON: Can you tell me when, where and how you met your lovely wife? MR. CARROLL: We met at our Church Camp when we were in college. My brother introduced us. Not much grew out of that at the moment. Later on, in the next year in the….. MRS. CARROLL: The following December, you asked me out. MR. CARROLL: I asked her out. I asked her out to go ice-skating in Tucson because I had some free tickets to the place. The nice part of that was that she didn’t know how to ice skate very well so I got to hold her hand for the whole first date! That worked out nicely. MRS. CARROLL: Three and half years later, we were married! MS. NORTON: When and where were you married? MR. CARROLL: It was in Tucson at St. Mark’s Presbyterian Church. April 23, 1962. That year it was the day after Easter, which is about as late as Easter comes. It was a Monday and it was Spring Break from college. We went up on the Mogollon Rim in Arizona and just had complete isolation. It was just a wonderful place at that time of year for a honeymoon. MS. NORTON: Is that place where you went for your honeymoon right in Tucson? MR. CARROLL: No, the Mogollon Rim is a geologic line that goes from southeast to northwest in Arizona. The southwestern part of Arizona is a variety of deserts and the northeastern is the higher ground with pines and beautiful country northeast of Phoenix. MS. NORTON: So how many children did you have? MR. CARROLL: We had three children. MS. NORTON: What are their names? And what are they doing now? MR. CARROLL: Kathy was born Katherine Joan Carroll. She is a nurse and she is married now. They live in Appleton, Wisconsin. She was born during the second summer that I was a student/trainee at that Cabeza Prieta Refuge. Joan stayed in Tucson and I commuted on weekends about a hundred and twenty miles from Ajo, Arizona the office, and there. She was born that summer. MRS. CARROLL: She works for a paper company in Neenah, which is just south of Appleton. MR. CARROLL: Our son David was born also in the summer when we were at Bear River Refuge in Utah. He was born in Brigham City. A week after that with a one-week-old baby and a toddler, we came back to school with our little trailer and our car and such. That was quite an expedition; a real adventure. MRS. CARROLL: He is a teacher. He teaches music. He is the Band Director at Marshfield Wisconsin High School. His wife is also a music teacher. They have two children. Our youngest son, Peter, was born while we were living on a Refuge in Kansas. So they were all three born in different states. MS. NORTON: I had that same situation. MRS. CARROLL: They live here, in Lakeville. They have two children one of which I am babysitting right now. He works for Best Buy, and his wife is a teacher. MS. NORTON: Great! So now we are going to move on to your career. Why did you want to work for the FWS? MRS. CARROLL: Because I wanted to marry somebody that worked for the Service! That’s a standard joke! MR. CARROLL: I liked the out of doors. I liked the Park Service. The FWS sounded like a good opportunity. I didn’t know that much about it. I had made so applications for the Park Service. I had sent out seventeen applications for seasonal work, and hadn’t gotten any feedback. I was happy where I was, but I wanted to get a broader range. The student/trainee position was an excellent opportunity to get in and find out about FWS. MS. NORTON: Was that your first job with FWS? MR. CARROLL: Yes, at Bosque Del Apace. MS. NORTON: And when was that? MR. CARROLL: That was in 1962. Then following that I was at Cabeza Prieta during the second summer. They have it on the list here, as Imperial, but it was a combination of Kofa, Cabeza Prieta and Imperial in southwestern Arizona. Cabeza Prieta is a million acres of desert, primarily for the Big Horned Sheep. And the major project there, the Assistant Manager there was a student at the University of Arizona working on his Doctorate and studying the Big Horned Sheep so we did water hole counts. That was quite an interesting project. The next summer we went to Wichita Mountains Refuge in Oklahoma. A couple of weeks after I got there; no it was the first week; the West Point Cadets were coming. They came every year for a buffalo barbeque and they liked to see buffalo. Well, the Refuge staff would herd the buffalo up to make sure they were able to see them. So they had me do this and I was not much of a horseman. It was exciting, trying to move buffalo in one direction or another when they’re not that inclined to follow what you want. At least it was better with them than with long horned cattle, which were some of the other critters that they had there. MRS. CARROLL: Didn’t you do a study? MR. CARROLL: Yeah, I did a public use study there at Wichita that was pretty detailed and was an important document when they did the first public use master plan for the refuge. They checked with me on a few items on that. After that we went to Bear River in Utah the next summer. After I graduated in 1966 we went to Tishomingo Refuge in Oklahoma for a year. That’s on the north arm of Lake Texoma. Following that I was Assistant Manage at Quivira Refuge in Kansas. Charles Darling was the Manager there. He had been the Assistant Manager at Wichita when I was there. That’s a very interesting area with about twenty thousand acres. Charlie Darling as Assistant Manager at Wichita had been responsible for having the radio in his house. There was constant activity on the radio. At Quivira, he wouldn’t allow radios. It was interesting trying to communicate. From Quivira we went to Horicon Refuge. I was Assistant Manager there for a year. From there we went down to Ottawa Refuge in Ohio. I was there for six years. The first two years was as Assistant Manager and then we had the floods on Lake Erie, the high waters started coming in. They moved the staff off. I was the only professional left on the staff. It was complexed, so to speak with Shiawassee Refuge so I was the Resident Manager for two years. The water kept rising and we had interesting problems as the dikes were broken and people were writing their Congressmen. Art Hewlett, the Deputy Regional Director came down, and we were talking on TV and this, that and the other. So that was an interesting time. For the final two years of the six, I was the acting Refuge Manager. MRS. CARROLL: The power plant was going in at that time at Davis-Bessy so he was on TV a lot again because that was on the edge of the refuge also. MR. CARROLL: Actually, we had a unit of the refuge that was the marshes of Davis- Bessy, the Nevara marches. Then I went to Necedah Refuge. I was there approximately ten years. I was Manager there. From Necedah, I came in to the Regional Office. There, the responsibilities changed a little bit. My title changed three times while I was there, from Wildlife Biologist to Refuge Manager, the Refuge Operations Specialist. But it was still pretty much the same areas of responsibility. MS. NORTON: And you stayed in the Regional Office until you retired? MR. CARROLL: Yes. MS. NORTON: When did you retire? MR. CARROLL: It was May 3, 1994. MS. NORTON: I retired on April 30, 1994. We went out at about the same time Jim! MR. CARROLL: Well, it was a buy out and I had considered possible retirement in several years but this opportunity came along and there was a possibility that if I didn’t take the buy out, I might be transferred. We are happy in this part of the country, so. MS. NORTON: I know my children talked me into taking it too. They asked me why I kept working. It was because I liked the people I worked with. So how did you feel that the pay and benefits were like when you came to FWS? MR. CARROLL: I thought they were excellent. It fit in with our lifestyle. We weren’t on the fast track in terms of going up in wages. MRS. CARROLL: You have to remember, when we went in, if you earned $10,000 a year that was considered really good, because you could buy a house for $10,000. You figured a years income, and that was attainable at that time. But having housing to rent from the government on the refuges was really a big drawing point for both of us. We only applied for positions that had housing. MS. NORTON: So on all of these different positions that you had, did you have promotion opportunities when you moved? MR. CARROLL: Yes, each time. I never changed Grade; well, actually I did. There was when I was at Necedah; the accretion of duties went from an 11 to a 12 position. MS. NORTON: Did you socialize with the people that you worked with? MR. CARROLL: Yes, on the refuge pretty much. We had some fine families. MRS. CARROLL: Right from the beginning, right from the first one. MR. CARROLL: Skeet Dart who was one of the real, early cornerstones of FWS and he’d come in in World War II. Grace Dart was his wife. They were very gracious when we were at Bosque. MRS. CARROLL: They had wonderful stories to tell about during the Second World War and he was called to go into the Service. She had to pack the house and move and do everything. The van broke down and all of their stuff was put on two different vans. MS. NORTON: Who was he? MR. CARROLL: Skeet Dart was the Manager of the refuge. MS. NORTON: Is he still alive? MR. CARROLL: I wouldn’t think he would be. He was nearing retirement then. He was highly thought of though. MRS. CARROLL: He had wild stories of what refuges were like before they were very well settled. MR. CARROLL: What was the question here before this came out? MS. NORTON: I asked if you socialized with people you worked with. MR. CARROLL: Oh yeah. The Manager and Assistant there and actually, it would probably be after….there were little communities on each refuge. That’s one thing we liked about living there. In terms of Joan and the kids being able to interact with the other folks. MRS. CARROLL: Thanksgiving would come and people would invite us to their home because our family was still in Tucson and out west and here we were a long ways off. They just sort of took care of you and invited you for supper the first day you were on. MR. CARROLL: Every refuge we went to, the Manager would have us over the first evening for dinner. At Ottawa, that was really important because that particular time we’d moved in, the temperature was bitter, bitter cold. When we moved in to the house, the furnace didn’t turn off for a day and a half! MRS. CARROLL: The wind chill was forty below! MS. NORTON: Oh my gosh, that was pretty cold! MRS. CARROLL: And with three little kids! MR. CARROLL: We should have gone to a hotel for the night, but we didn’t. MS. NORTON: What did you ever do for recreation whenever you were out at all of these different field stations? MRS. CARROLL: You were involved in Lions Club. MR. CARROLL: The Lions Club, Church work and Scouts. That was an introduction into each community we went to. We were both in Church Choir so sometimes before we’d join a Church, we’d show up and sing in the Choir. That was an introduction to a lot of people in the community. Then, with Lions Club you can transfer membership and you’re in already. And they are always ready and anxious to have volunteers for Boy Scouts, so you’re in. And after you move in you have all of those connections. Early on at one of the first refuges Joan had sort of sat back and waited to be asked to get involved in things. That only lasted for one station. From then on she jumped in with both feet and enjoyed it ever since. MS. NORTON: How did your career affect your family? MRS. CARROLL: Very well, I think. The kids have very good memories of going with dad to count cars at the deer hunting time, and going out to watch dad band ducks and different things. They have very good memories of refuges. MR. CARROLL: Most of their growing up took place at Necedah where they were in junior high and high school. They actually went to University of Wisconsin at Stevens Point, all three of them. That was a good focal point there. And it was a good school system. There were interesting circumstances; the story of how the schools were in an interesting story in itself. There were a lot of professional people there, having to do with a Roman Catholic Shrine area. They were quite interested in the education of their children and our kids benefited from that. We didn’t have the cars where the kids could go around hither and yon, so we avoided a lot of those problems. Joan worked in the school so she was aware. The kids didn’t stand a chance! We had them coming and going. She was aware of any problems that developed. She let a lot of them go by. The kids actually didn’t know that she was actually aware of a lot of the things that happened. She’s thinking about telling them now! MS. NORTON: What sort of training did you receive for your jobs as you started each one? Was it on the job, or did you go to any formal training classes? MRS. CARROLL: When we were at Tishomingo you can here for something. MR. CARROLL: Yeah, I came for Refuge Management training at Arden Hills for six weeks. Bob Greene was heading that. Then, the second time around also. Lynn Greenwalt had contact with him several times. That fellow is awesome. I’ve got the feeling that now, if I went up to him and said hello, he’d know me by name. MS. NORTON: I bet he would! MR. CARROLL: It’s awesome! He is such a public speaker. I remember at the basic training he spoke something on finance. It’s the boringest idea you could get. He made it so interesting that it was one of the best sessions we had in the training course. I was at Oklahoma, Tishomingo when I came out for the first one. MS. NORTON: What hours did you work when you were out in the field? MR. CARROLL: One nice thing about living on the field station is that you can put in as much time as you want. A lot of times you are either within walking distance of the office. MRS. CARROLL: They didn’t mind you putting in overtime for a long time. Unless you were doing Law Enforcement; then you had to put in so that if you made an apprehension or something, you were on their time. MR. CARROLL: For sure. But you could go home and have supper and go back and work on whatever it was. Or, you could out and check things in the field and have somebody in the car with you from the family to check a dike or a water control structure or that sort of thing. MS. NORTON: What kind of tools or instruments did you use? Was there anything different or unusual? MR. CARROLL: Actually, we had the gauges on the sides of the water control structures. I think I did get an incentive award for making a mobile, or portable version of that. A lot of times through the seasons of the year, ice and this that and the other and circumstances, it became difficult to read those. The mechanic on the refuge fabricated one to my design and I sent it in for incentive. I got some recognition for it. It collapsed in the middle. You could take it out and snap it up and drop it down to a certain point and measure each of the impoundments. MRS. CARROLL: You worked on the catch cages for Mourning Dove too, didn’t you? Didn’t you sort of redesign those a little too? MR. CARROLL: Yeah, at Bosque, my first refuge I sort of did some modifications on the cages, but that was just for my use. As far as I know, I banded the most doves ever banded in a summer; over 1,500. I thoroughly enjoyed it. Again, that was something that you did on your own time because the middle of the day is not the time to band doves. I’d go out early in the morning and Joan went with me. It was the same thing in the evening. It was perfect to be out there banding. MS. NORTON: Did you work with animals other than the birds? MR. CARROLL: There were the buffalo and the Big Horned Sheep when we did the water hole counts in Arizona. MS. NORTON: How do you feel about the support that you got locally, regionally, federally went you were out on these different refuges? Did they support you very well? If you were so active as you were, with Scouts and other things, they must have known you were a good, honest person. MRS. CARROLL: He went and spoke at schools a lot when he was at Necedah. MR. CARROLL: Yeah, that was during National Wildlife Week. I was going around and talking at schools. I did an awful lot of that. MRS. CARROLL: They were very receptive to that. He did that in Ohio too. MR. CARROLL: I’m not quite sure what you mean by support. MRS. CARROLL: Well it was touchy sometimes when you had some new project and these communities…. MS. NORTON: How did you feel that the agency, community relations worked? MR. CARROLL: I think actually that I had pretty good relations with that. I was able to move that along. The only really sensitive time I think was at Ottawa Refuge when those dikes were flooding and Art Hewlett came down. And with his direction and response to the questions and such, people didn’t get too irate. MS. NORTON: How do you think the FWS was perceived by people outside the agency? Did they think we were good people? Or did they think we were doing the wrong things? MR. CARROLL: That’s sort of hard to answer. Some of it depends on how long a refuge has been established. If they are acquiring land and the acquisition program…there are willing sellers so most people were happy with the FWS as I remember in my experience. MS. NORTON: So what projects were you involved in? MR. CARROLL: My biological project at Bosque, the first refuge, was the mourning doves. The next summer at Cabeza Prieta was the water hole count for desert Big Horned Sheep. The fellow who was directing the project, the Assistant Manager was also working on his Doctorate. I believe it was at the University of Arizona, but it could have been Colorado. He ended up eventually going on into Canada and working on all of the major North American Sheep doing research studies. Norman Simmons was his name. We would set up some observation blinds out in the desert. We’d go out and live in the desert for a week out of the pick up truck. We had a fifty-gallon tank of water and a fifty-gallon tank of gasoline. We had two giant ice chests. We covered the ice chests with mattresses. We had cots to sleep on. And sleeping in the desert, we just set up the cots right out in the open. We didn’t even bother with tents and so forth. We’d have our breakfast before sun up. We used ironwood for the coals and set up Dutch ovens for dinner. By the time we finished the survey it was after dark. In fact, we purposely didn’t come out during the daytime in order not to scare the animals away. We camped far enough away from the water source so that the animals could come in at night. We marked the sheep with a colored dye. That was an interesting process. With the dye, you could spot these sheep as they moved to other water holes. It was helpful in the study to see how affective our management was. MS. NORTON: Were there any major issues that you had to deal with? MR. CARROLL: I can’t think of anything in particular. Actually there is a thread that starts coming through, beginning at Ottawa, which involved the Youth CCC Program. I was a resident manager I believe at the time at Ottawa. I’m not sure exactly of the year it was established. But I got a call on a Friday, or Thursday of one week. They said on Monday they wanted me in Salt Lake City, Utah with training with the YCC Camp Director and an environmental education person, and a coordinator. We had some hints of this coming. I hired these people just like that and we were on. For the Director, she was a teacher and I had seen her bring her class out. And I was really impressed with how she handled the kids on the refuge. I called her up during the summer. She was working for the metro parks in Toledo. I said I would like for her to work as a Director for the YCC program. That was one evening. She had gone to bed and they wouldn’t wake her up. She got up the next morning and got my message. That morning we were on the plane. It was that quick. Within a week after that we had the program set up on the refuge and operating. We recruited kids from the high school level, but we had a university involved. I can’t remember the name of the university right now. Toledo University is what it was. The names just don’t come back right away. I was heavily involved with the program there. And I got involved in the training of staff for YCC programs and went to several locations around the country to do that. Then when the YACC came along, I was part of the national training cadre for that. When I came in to the Regional Office, part of my job was being the regional liaison with the Job Corps. That was interesting. It’s been actually one of my primary interests in FWS, the environmental education and working with youth; the Boy Scout programs, the local schools using the refuge and in environmental education and the various youth programs that the federal government had. One thing that reminded me that really got me when I retired is that I went back the next day to the office. There were about eight or nine of us that had retired. They had signs hanging over each office; “GONE FISHING”. On my office, they had, “GONE SCOUTING”. That got me! MS. NORTON: Do you remember who all of your supervisors were at all of these different jobs? MR. CARROLL: Yeah, pretty much. A lot of them weren’t all that far from retirement. At Bosque del Apache there was Skeet Dart, in the old Region 2 in Albuquerque. I am thinking to thing about Cabeza Prieta, that name may come back to me. He went a ways in FWS above the Refuge Manager level. At Wichita Mountains it was Julian Howard who was sort of an institution there, for the refuge. The people who are doing the transcribing, and perhaps sharing stories, I don’t know, but Julian Howard was another institution. There was Van Wilson. Vanes T. Wilson at Bear River Refuge. He had been the Civil Engineer who laid out the refuge and became the first Refuge Manager. As I understand it, when he retired a year or so after I had been there, they had been allowed to accumulate annual leave and he had so much, he broke the bank on the refuge; the whole budget for his retirement. That’s one of the reasons they allow you to accumulate just so much! There are more that I can’t think of, like at Tishomingo. MS. NORTON: That’s okay if you can’t remember names. It’s been a lot of time that’s gone by. And you worked with so many other people than just your supervisors. Who were some of the people that you knew outside of the FWS? Do you think that they would have been able to work for the FWS today? You probably met a lot of people in these communities and so forth. MRS. CARROLL: That’s a strange question. Would those people have been able to work for the Service, you mean? MR. CARROLL: No, I don’t they could have. MRS. CARROLL: Most of the women I knew would not have been willing to move like I did. Most of them have the careers that they are not willing to up and leave. MR. CARROLL: Interestingly enough, most of the wives of the Refuge Managers were either …. [tape stoped Side B] MS. NORTON: How do you think changes in administration affected our work? MR. CARROLL: In my experience they were fairly well buffered from changes in administrations. There are obviously, with funding and stuff, it makes a difference. The accumulation of what needs to be done continues and with some administrations the volume increases and with some we’d get caught up. But I am not aware of any direct involvement problems. MS. NORTON: So in your opinion, who were the individuals who helped shape the FWS? Or do you think that all happened before you came on board? MR. CARROLL: I think all of the shaping came before I came on board. I’ve always greatly admired Lynn Greenwalt. His father was a Refuge Manager, his father-in-law was too. He was too. He knew refuges from the ground up and he is a communicator, par excellence. There are so many people do their jobs in such a diversity of programs in the Service, in Refuges as well as the others. I think we just move ahead doing a good job. I can’t name anybody in particular really that stands out. It’s just a fine bunch of people; professionals that… You can’t find a much better bunch of people to work with than in FWS. MS. NORTON: What was the high point of your career? MR. CARROLL: Actually the part that I enjoyed the most about it was working with the youth programs. We were talking about Kim Debsetter earlier, and I worked with him on that. But the training of the different staffs of the YCC program and actually working with the camps themselves and the projects they were working on. The environmental aspects of the program and the environmental education were good. MRS. CARROLL: You said that the Job Corps was the best-invested money…how did you put that? MR. CARROLL: I don’t remember. MRS. CARROLL: He said he felt very strongly that the government had done wisely by promoting that program. MR. CARROLL: They had very dedicated staffs do there too. Hopefully the kids can pick up on it as well as they can. MS. NORTON: Did you have a low point in your career? MR. CARROLL: No, not really a low point. Sometimes it got more exciting than others, like Ottawa. It was nice to move on to Necedah. I liked Ottawa and the people there but they volume of work, with one professional on the staff was an awesome responsibility. A much larger staff came in later than was there previous. It took about five people when they finally fleshed it out with the Manager and the Assistant. There was a Biologist and all of these things. That was…I really felt like a load had been lifted when I drove away from there, as much as I enjoyed it. MS. NORTON: Did you ever have a dangerous or frightening experience? MRS. CARROLL: What about the time you went out in the boat on Lake Erie? MR. CARROLL: Well, actually it could get dangerous out on Lake Erie. The West Sister Island wilderness area is part of the refuges responsibility. Coming from West Sister back to Toledo the clouds can close in and the lake can get extremely choppy. The fog and such can be dangerous. But I never had a particular problem. It was a little touchy there once or twice. MRS. CARROLL: We had some convicts that escaped on the refuge at Wichita Mountains in Oklahoma when we were there. They told us to lock our doors because they didn’t know where they were on the refuge. We didn’t have locks on our doors! So we couldn’t very well lock them! MR. CARROLL: When one of them escaped, he had shot one of the guards in the stomach. For all he knew, he thought he was dead so he may have thought of himself as being a killer. But they caught him after we left actually. MS. NORTON: Well, to me that would have been frightening! MR. CARROLL: Yeah, it was exciting. It was a Friday and the refuge was closed for the weekend while they looked for him. Wichita Mountains is one of the areas in the country where people come for family reunions because it’s centrally located. There were piles of people outside of every gate waiting to get in. Otherwise, I can’t think of anything particularly dangerous. MS. NORTON: How about your most humorous experience? MS. CARROLL: When your just sitting around talking, all sorts of humorous experiences come up. Coming up from Tishomingo refuge to Minneapolis we were required to wear our dress uniform, which looked sort of like a business suit with a patch on the shoulder, and a cowboy hat. That’s what I was wearing. I had my luggage along and this was my first station. I didn’t know who was where. I didn’t know anything about Minneapolis. And I hadn’t done that much flying. I landed at the airport and the person who met me there was also in a uniform. He had gray hair. It was Forest Carpenter. I didn’t know who Forest Carpenter was. I thought it might be a secretary or somebody they had sent over to greet people. Well, my luggage didn’t come and I was giving him detailed instructions about how to forward it. When I found out who he was, and whom I was talking too… He could be sort of gruff, but he never was, in my experience. Years later I told him how chagrined I was at having done that. But he didn’t even notice it. MS. NORTON: What would you like to tell other people about your career and about FWS? Like, if you had just met somebody and they were curious? You mentioned earlier that you thought the FWS was a good place to work. MR. CARROLL: Yeah, the federal government is a good place to work also. I have always been proud of FWS and felt confident in defending it’s actions and what it did; in terms of honesty and integrity and our mission. There is so much that people don’t know, about migratory birds, in particular, that it’s fun to just tell the stories of banding and where these birds go. Not just game birds, but the songbirds too as they move around. The purpose of the refuges is important. They are a remnant of the land that is left. We manage them more intensely. We can’t just necessarily leave them natural because there is a larger concentration of birds so that we need to manipulate water levels and such so that more birds can benefit from the land base there. MS. NORTON: We’re getting pretty close to the end here Jim, so where do you see the Service heading in the next decade? MR. CARROLL: I haven’t been tracking FWS that much since I retired. It’s sort of been diffused under the FWS and the Refuges themselves, which I consider myself basically a Refuge Manager, I feel confident when I go there that this is what I remember. But the relationships between the difference groups in the Regional Office and the supervision and such is just sort of strange. I always enjoyed working with the different divisions and such but it’s so different now. The areas of responsibility and the supervision at the field stations, and I’ve just sort of given up trying to keep track of it all. In terms of the directions of the Service, I really couldn’t comment on it. I am just happy that the integrity of the refuges themselves seems to be intact. MS. NORTON: That’s good. Do you have any photographs or documents that you would want to donate to go along with your interview to place in the archives? MR. CARROLL: I can’t think of anything off hand. I have a few copies of some photographs that would be available on a refuge. MS. NORTON: If you ever come upon some, just let me know and I can pick them in and get them in there. MR. CARROLL: Sure. MS. NORTON: Who else do you think we should be interviewing? Is there anybody that we’ve talked about or haven’t talked about who you think would be really good? MR.CARROLL: I think Chuck Gibbons could tell some stories. MS. NORTON: I’ve done quite a few refuge people; Matt Kershbaum, and Ed Crosure, and George Brackage, and Evan Holmburg; did you ever hear of him? He lives about six miles from the Canadian border up in Grand Portage. There were Larry Sisck, Jerry Decker, Jim Getle, John Caum, Harvey Nelson, Denise Lumberger, our mail boy and quite a few. I am going to try and get as many as I can. I am concentrating too, on trying to get as many like Art Hawkins and Don Gray and Bernie Palas from Wisconsin, he was 91. I am trying to get as many of the older ones as I can before something happens to them. But I want to thank you for your time this afternoon. It was very nice of you to do this. MR. CARROLL: Okay! I wish more things had come to mind. I’ve got enough in me to cover several tapes, I’m sure. But I appreciate the opportunity for commenting. MS. NORTON: We’ll send you a copy of this when it’s done. MR. CARROLL: Thank you, but I’d also like something of the project itself; it’s scope and how it’s going. I am interested in the heritage project, it’s wonderful. MS. NORTON: Okay, thank you!
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|Title||Jim Carroll oral history transcript|
|Description||Oral history interview with Jim Carroll with unknown interviewer.|
|Publisher||U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service|
|Contributors||Carroll, Jim; Carroll, Joan; Norton, Dorothe|
|Date of Original||2003-02-19|
|Source||NCTC Archives Museum|
|File Size||184 KB.|
|Images Source File Name||9229.pdf|