It’s raining in Oregon!

After a peculiarly hot and dry summer, rain has finally made an appearance in the Willamette Valley. And coinciding with the rain is an opportunity for a little bit of field work. For me, field season was officially over in August with the end of monitoring, and I have since then settled into the office working on reports. However, it’s restoration time in the wetlands, and prime time to reseed the bare ground left by ecological burns.

Seeding has been an entirely different creature than monitoring; there is quite a bit of preparation involved before actually spreading the seed. First, we picked up the seed from the City of Eugene, one of BLM’s partners in preserving and restoring the West Eugene Wetlands. The City of Eugene sorts and packages the native seed by site for us so that it’s almost all ready to go.¬†We store the seed in our seed cooler until we are ready to begin, at which time we have to mix the different species of seed together. Finally, we are ready to start spreading the seed.

In addition to seeding, I also had the opportunity to attend a grantwriting training workshop at the Tualatin River National Wildlife Refuge. The workshop ran for three jam-packed days full of valuable information. It was completely awesome. The refuge itself was also beautiful. Our “classroom” had a huge window in the back that looked out over the refuge, through which we could view the local wildlife (mainly egrets, great blue herons, and even a few eagles).

Tualatin River National Wildlife Refuge–it poured the entire time I was there!


Signing off for now,

Mackenzie Cowan

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