My CLM internship experience began with a nice long drive from northern Indiana to northern California traveling through the many different ecosystems of the Midwest and West. I have been in Susanville, CA at the Eagle Lake BLM Field Office for a week now. I’m slowly adjusting to the mountains, sagebrush, and the dry conditions which inhabit the northern California landscape. Coming from flat Midwestern farm fields, being able to see mountains everywhere I go has been a nice change.
So far this week, I’ve been familiarizing myself with the field office and the people in the different parts of the office. I’ve also been getting familiar with the western plants which I will be seeing out in the field. I’m starting to learn some of the names of the grasses, forbs, and sagebrush species as we come across them in the field. I’ve had several opportunities this week to go out in the field with others in the field office. Earlier this week I was able go along to see a riparian proper functioning condition assessment which included individuals from range, hydrology, archaeology, wildlife, and ecology. I learned a lot about the riparian vegetation at the field sites we looked at. Some parts of the area were dry desert stream areas. My first week at the Eagle Lake BLM Field Office has been a learning experience, with many more to follow I’m sure.