November

Greetings fellow interns,

Another lovely California central valley winter has begun.  I have really gotten used to the pleasant 60-70 degree days.  It will be quite the shock returning home to the Midwest over Thanksgiving, where highs have been consistently in the 10-20 degree range.  I will be packing every article of clothing I own (and hand warmers).  Christmas visits are pretty much out of the question except via Skype.

I am still primarily working on permitting for a large scale restoration project I have been tasked with.  This project seems to require every permit known to man (federal, state and county).  I have, however, had the opportunity to work on some side projects.

Last fall, my mentor was informed that there was a machine shed style building on a parcel of land within our field office jurisdiction that was going to be torn down.  It seems that the parcel had been leased for several  years by an educational institution while they were conducting research in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada.  They had the building constructed during that time.  After the lease and research had concluded the building was left in place, with no plans for removal.  Due to BLM policies, the building needed to be removed prior to taking control of the property once again.  As the Preserve I work for is constantly searching for space to store and protect our equipment, we saw an opportunity to prevent the unnecessary waste of a perfectly good structure and provide more much-needed storage space for our facility.

With a crew of four guys we deconstructed the entire building in two 12-hour days, loaded it on to a trailer, hauled it to the Preserve, and unloaded it into storage.  This fall a new cement pad was poured at the Preserve where the new structure was to be installed, and in October of this year, we rebuilt the building.  We had no instructions, and lots of pieces.  Based on the pictures we took prior to deconstruction, and a numbering system we used to mark the pieces, we were able to reconstruct the shed in about 3 days.  We are still waiting for new skylight panels that we had to order and a few final steps to complete the building, but for the most part the construction process went very smoothly!  It was a great opportunity to learn some basic construction skills.

Stay warm-

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