August in Idaho has been a great month. I’ve gotten the chance to travel more around my area and try some new things at work. We wrapped up our habitat assessments. At this point I’d say my field partners and I are pretty good at identifying dead and dry plants. 😉 On some days we had the opportunity of working in mountainous areas which were a treat, visually, but a test, physically.
It took a while to get the protocol down because it has undergone many changes in recent years. I always carried a hard copy in the field with me because we had to refer to it several times when we were unsure of a measurement technique.
We also drove around some allotments for use supervision, which entails making sure the cows are grazing in the right pastures. They have to go through a proper rotation to allow for vegetation regrowth. I’ve learned that this can be a point of contention between the BLM and the ranchers or the public.
Just recently we’ve had the opportunity to work on a couple of GIS projects here in the office. It feels good to get back into that practice. I was also able to tag along with a Fish & Game employee for a couple of nights of bat monitoring! We went to a few sites, set up recording devices, and then drove along a transect near the Snake River and some agricultural land to record bat echolocation activity. It was interesting to see how different species have unique frequency patterns.
Late July and the month of August has been full of travels and time spent with friends. I’ve made 4 trips to Boise since my last post. I got to see two of my favorite bands play live and I got to hang out with several other CLM interns (shoutout to Megan, Austin, Jessica, Amy, Dan, and Lara!).
This month I also had the chance to camp in the Sawtooth National Forest, north of Stanley along the Salmon River.
I’ve also spent time in Ketchum. Hailey and I re-visited the Craters of the Moon National Monument. I also made it down to Salt Lake City and Jackpot, NV where I won $900+ on a slot machine! (Jackpot, indeed!) I’ll be trying to take in some more Idaho beauty during my last month here. So much time and so little to do! Strike that. Reverse it.
Carla–BLM, Shoshone, ID