I am so thrilled with how my internship is going. I am getting familiar with the land, the plants, and the projects at the office. We have been doing a lot of restoration work in natural areas.
One natural area on the district has a threatened lily (Calochortus umpquaensis). I really enjoy this site because you have to go through three locked gates, across clear cuts on private land, and up into a hill top meadow with an incredible view. We were cutting back the encroaching seedlings to improve the habitat.
Another natural area on the district had some Reed Canary Grass present in and around the pond. This forest is really cool because the floor is composed of piles and piles of logs at different stages of decomposition. We brought kayaks down to the pond and removed the invasive grass. There were also a lot of fallen trees in the pond, which was fun to maneuver around. It was a pretty magical day at work.
A third natural area, and the largest with more than 6,000 acres, needs a lot of work maintaining the oak savannah habitat. I will be taking on a project to write up a weed management plan for this area. We monitored the seed development in the invasive annual Medusa Head grass, to burn at the right stage. A large area was burned before the grass set seed, and after the grass was mature enough that it would not have enough reserves to recover. We collected some medusa head seeds after the burn to test if they were still viable. The area will be seeded in October to avoid being food for wildlife and to catch the winter rains, soon after being sown.
I participated in another educational outreach event. My boss and I introduced a weed project to a group of recent high school graduates. They impressed me so much with their knowledge and experience and super positive work ethics and attitudes. Granted today was the first day. I look forward to hearing about their experience when we catch up at the end of the week.
Looking forward to many more magical days at work.
Until next time,
BLM Roseburg, OR