Rolf Diamant, recently retired after a long career with the U.S. National Park Service, helped to create both the Frederick Law Olmsted National Historic Site in Brookline, Massachusetts and the Olmsted Center for Landscape Preservation, the NPS technical center for stewardship of historic landscapes. He was also the founding superintendent of Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller National Historical Park in Woodstock, Vermont, a unique park that focuses on the history of the conservation movement itself .
An excerpt from our interview with Rolf:
I came to my last posting with the National Park Service in Vermont with largely a forested landscape and with a challenge of maintaining an active managed forest. I don’t have a degree in forestry, I’ve not worked as a forest manager or in the forestry profession. But of course I came into this as a manager, not necessarily just as a historian, but the point is that you find people who know about the subject matter. You get to know people who are doing the work and it’s a little bit research, it’s a little bit a political campaign. You have to build the relationships and the trust. And you get to know the subject matter, nowhere ever quite as good as the practitioner, the farmer in the field or the forester, but well enough that you can say something of value, add something of value to the conversation.