Wild Wild West

Wow, August really flew by.  This was a really great month; I am loving my job and really enjoying my time out here.  Earlier this month I organized a solo project that involves going out to potential leasing sites for minerals and doing a brief vegetation and wildlife assessment then taking a photo and GPS point.  At first, I wasn’t too thrilled with the prospect, it sounded…….uneventful.  I was mistaken; I have gone to so many places in our field office’s management area that I wouldn’t have been to visit otherwise.  I did field site visits from the western foothills of the Shoshoni forest to the eastern foothills of the Big Horn forest and all the wonderfully rugged sage scrub and badlands in-between.   I drove around on roads (I use the term loosely) that were so hazardous I was honestly surprised that my Ford Explorer could traverse them. I saw black bear, sage grouse, rattlesnakes, and a huge number of raptors.  It has been a really unexpected treat.  After that project ended, I moved back into bag’n and tag’n weeds and surveying.  The most interesting area I surveyed this month was a creek-carved canyon that was on fire in early June.  Over a hundred foot tall walls with blackened earth and vegetation made for an awesome hike through.  I’ve also been helping construct a shade shelter  these last few days of August — hopefully I’ll have some pictures of it to post next time.  On a personal note, I climbed my first mountain peak (going for a 14er this weekend!), started to harvest fruit and veggies from my garden, went fly fishing for the first time and I’m hooked (….I love puns….), had a birthday, and brewed my 3rd batch of beer (brown ale, pumpkin ale, and now a stout!).  I’d say that it was a pretty successful month professionally and personally and I am really looking forward for the next one.


-Nate T.

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