Winter Time in the Desert

The past few weeks here in Roswell have been hectic and busy.  I was fortunate enough to go home for two weeks due to compensation time I saved up, and being back in the office has been a warm welcome back.  There have been a variety of meetings we have attended this week alone, which has spiced things up a bit.  One meeting was for the Lesser Prairie Chicken.  Referring to my previous blog, the Lesser Prairie Chicken is up for listing as “threatened” with the Fish & Wildlife Service.  The meeting was held here in the conference room at the BLM and a variety of people were there in attendance.  The room was filled with oil company representatives, conservation groups and other federal employees.  Two gentlemen from the Game Commission were running the meeting and one of them was a Lesser Prairie Chicken biologist.  He provided an interesting history and ecology on the bird, as well as statistics from the last ten years.  One of the interesting facts that caught my attention was that the numbers of birds has spiked within the last few years – solely due to increased precipitation.  They hypothesize that the numbers will go back up if there is an annual increase in precipitation, however the likely hood of that is unknown.  Not only was the meeting interesting to learn more about the bird, but the tension in the room was evident.  The oil companies have a lot on the line with their businesses and the conservation groups are adding other pressures.  Overall, it was interesting being the fly on the wall.

 

Besides the Lesser Prairie Chicken meeting, we also attended a meeting just for the Natural Resources section of the office. Until this point, I hadn’t fully understood what everybody else I work with actually does.  It was eye opening to hear all of the different things going on and actually understand how they are all related.

 

I have just about a month left until my internship is complete and I am having a hard time believing this!  My last couple of weeks here will probably involve finishing up various projects – including my wildflower brochure.  Almost all of the plant species are identified and the only thing really left is to complete the layout of the brochure.  I sincerely hope to finish this before my internship is over and add a link for it to my last blog post.

 

Jaci Braund

BLM Roswell, NM

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