WHAT WENT WRONG: Martha Hahn had 20 years' experience in public-lands management when she was promoted to lead the Bureau of Land Management in Idaho in 1995. But in the Bush years, she enforced restrictions on cattle grazing on BLM land in the Owyhee Mountains, earning the enmity of local ranchers and Idaho senator Larry Craig (R).

THE HEAVY: J. Steven Griles, then deputy secretary of the Interior Department (who later spent ten months in prison after pleading guilty to obstruction of justice in the Jack Abramoff scandal).

THE PRICE: Griles offered Hahn a choice between leaving the BLM or accepting a newly created position overseeing New York Harbor operations for the National Park Service--an option Hahn regarded as "a joke." She resigned instead in 2002 and worked in the private sector and for the Grand Canyon Trust. In 2007 she returned to federal service (at a much lower rank) as the Science Center director at Grand Canyon National Park.