I was finally able to use all the comp time that piled up over the season and I have to say, it was well worth the extra hours. A few weeks ago I took a trip to the Grand Canyon National Park. It was incredible. Similar to the vibrant colors of a tropical ocean, no photograph can portray the overwhelming visual stimulation that accompanies a real life experience at the grand canyon. This was definitely the highlight of my summer.
Aside from a great vacation, work continues to stay busy. Minus the intimidating stack of herbarium vouchers to organize and send, Seeds of Success has finally come to an end for the 2014 season. Tackling this endeavor independently has taught me a lot. It has forced me to take initiative, ask a lot of questions, keep an organized schedule and be patient. It was not an easy task however, the sense of accomplishment and professional growth that I have developed made every minute worth it. Perhaps the greatest lesson I learned was to be patient and know that field work typically does not go as planned. There will always be obstacles and set backs but if you learn to be flexible, innovative and make decisions on the fly, everything will work out in the end. Just stick with it.
The weather is changing quickly but there is still plenty of work to be done. The seed we ordered for Emergency Stabilization and Rehabilitation has been slow to arrive. It has been a bit of a nightmare trying to track down each shipment and simultaneously organize the workforce necessary to complete the planting. We have completed a few hundred acres of drill seeding and there is more to be done. However, our seed shipments were backed up and we no longer have access to the equipment or work staff for this season. On top of that, the snow has already begun to fly and it is a race against the clock. Focusing on broadcast seeding and hand planting will bring us to the end of our field season very soon.
It has been a whirlwind trying to keep up with the daily operations at the Surprise Valley Field Office due to very limited staff. However, I have been given more opportunities than I could ask for, which I am overwhelmingly grateful for. I will continue to work for Surprise through the winter, acquiring new skills and facing new challenges every day. This experience continues to impress me and I encourage anyone with an interest in conservation and land management to apply for this program.
Happy Holidays Everyone!
Amy Thorson- BLM Surprise Valley FO