Full Swing

Only about one more month left here in Vale, OR. Our days have mostly been spent monitoring plant populations for seed, collecting seed, and even still scouting for new sites. Most recently we found a few good rush and sedge populations. Surprise, surprise, eastern Oregon does have some riparian areas! Over half of our collections this year are from south eastern Oregon, near McDermitt NV, in the Oregon Canyon Mountains. Given how dry Malheur County has been, heading up in elevation was our best strategy. That has been a bulk of our duties right now, although I am looking forward to taking an online ArcGIS geoproccessing course tomorrow. I’m so glad we’re able to take advantage of such courses.

On a personal note, I just got back from 3 and a half days back home in Chicago. Much needed, and much enjoyed! The hunt for my next job is in full swing as well, although I do plan on applying for another round as a CLM intern too. That’s all for now, I’ll make my next and final post longer, and more interesting!



Vale, OR BLM

More good times in Surprise Valley

Seeds of Success has taken up most of my time this month. Although this season has been extremely dry, Matt and I have been able to collect 13 species so far. Most of our species have come from riparian areas where there is ample moisture for plants to produce an abundance of healthy seeds. Our favorite collection site is called Steven’s Camp and it has an adorable little cabin. This site is also swarming with American kestrels and other birds of prey.

Besides seed collecting we have been conducting rare plant surveys on project areas proposed for juniper reduction/habitat restoration. We have not found any but have come across suitable habitat for a few different species of concern. We are currently working on writing an Environmental Assessment for one of these juniper reduction projects. It has been a great opportunity to get familiar with the NEPA process and writing environmental documents, which is a crucial skill to have.

Another huge project in action is working on an Emergency Rehabilitation and Stabilization (ESR) plan for a fire that happened on our resource area. It was a 14,000 acre fire that we plan to rehab starting in October as long as we get the funding. I have been involved in developing seeding mixtures and looking at pricing. It has made me realize how important seeds of success is and having seeds available that are adapted to the area, especially because native seed prices are so expensive. It has given me an extra push to collect over 10,000 seeds whenever possible.

Highlights from July:

-The bear caught on the wildlife camera at one of our guzzlers. It’s quite rare for our project area.

-Visiting the Lutz farm. The Lutz’s are a couple that has been working with Seeds of Success collectors from our field office. They grow our seeds and do research projects. They will be providing us with 750 sagebrush seedlings to use for the ESR on the fire.

-Hiking in the Warner mountains.

-Chilling with the horses at Bitner Ranch.

Lost Bear looking for water.

Lost Bear looking for water.

My new friends.

My new friends.

Hawk on top of Stevens Camp cabin.

Hawk on top of Steven’s Camp cabin.

Hike to Patterson Lake in the Warner Mountains

Hike to Patterson Lake in the Warner Mountains