In a 2004 article, David Mosse suggested that the implementation of conservation and development projects is invisible to policy-makers, and that implementers (including him) and locals work to maintain the power of the policy-makers’ discourse. James C. Scott (1998) tells us that mētis, informal and local knowledge and practices, is essential to the success of all state projects, including projects to improve agriculture or forests. Tania Li (1999) makes a similar point about the compromises that characterize project implementation: that they are integral to state power, that states accomplish rule through compromise. I compare these three ideas to suggest that government, including government of the environment as well as of people, depends on things it does not want to see. Establishing relationships with locals, informal knowledges, and compromises occur in the invisible space where government is actually accomplished.