Business as usual…

Howdy y’all.

Blair (the best raft guide ever!)

Blair (the best raft guide ever!)

I’ll tell you what, May has just flown by! Can’t believe it’s the last week already. We have been so busy here! We spent three days out on the Gunnison River doing Sclerocactus glaucus surveys, and man oh man, let me tell you, that little guy is all over the place out there. Check out Phil’s blog entry (http://clminternship.org/blog/?p=54871) for more info on Sclerocactus, but basically these surveys were in an effort to get more numbers so we can get this thing de-listed.

Naturita Milkvetch

Naturita Milkvetch

Let’s see, what else…well I’ve been checking a lot of old EOR’s for Naturita Milkvetch. Naturita Milkvetch is a BLM sensitive and it really didn’t seem to be doing all that well last year (likely because of the drought), so we wanted to keep a closer eye on it this year and it’s going bonkers, which is great! I’ve already found two new EOR’s this season. There’s also talk about taking it off of our sensitive list. Check it out, it’s a cutie.

I also made a pretty sweet map (HydropowerBuckwheat) to basically just document that I didn’t find any Clay-loving Wild Buckwheat (the only endagered plant species we have in my field office) where they want to put in a hydroelectirc station/powerline. That survey was a doozy! I was hiking up and down, up and down these steep adobe hills while it was snowing on and off thinking to myself, “this plant isn’t going to be here” the whole time (the land was just too steep! this plant likes gradual slopes, or hanging out in swales, etc.). I got back to the office and asked Ken if he had actually expected me to find it there or just sent me on a wild goose chase…but seriously it’s good to check all potential habitat so it was well worth our while to spend a day there.

The legend herself!

The legend herself!

I also got to meet Krissa (finially!). She was out this way with a bunch of her people (shout outs to Matt, Evan, and Rick, y’all were great!) doing some really interesting research on floral scents/pollinators of various Oenothera‘s. Krissa and her crew did a great job of explaining everything to me, but I hesitate to go into too much detail on here because I’m afraid I might not explain it right.

Collecting floral scent of Oenothera lavandulifolia - looks like it's on a little plant ventilator!

Collecting floral scent of Oenothera lavandulifolia – looks like it’s on a little plant ventilator!

Then after meeting up with those folks my sister and I headed down to Moab for some quality bonding time.

Sister Bonding at Delicate Arch

Sister Bonding at Delicate Arch

Next on the to-do list – Crawford HAF inventory! Oh yeah, that’s right, Sage-Grouse habitat assessment! I look forward to devoting the next month and half or so to staring at the ground! Well enough for now folks – talk to y’all in a month or so!

Brandee Wills
Uncompahgre (I can finially spell it without looking it up!) Field Office – BLM
Montrose, CO

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About Brandee

Hello! My name is Brandee and I was born in St. Louis, MO, grew up in the beautiful New River Valley in south-western Virginia, and have spent the past five years going to school and bumming around the western slope of Colorado. Recently, I decided to quit my day job as a telemarketer/ski bum and start doing work related to my Biology major (hence this CLM internship).

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