Brand New

The end is finally here. When I started this venture in June, I had no idea that it would fly by so quickly and that I would grow so much.

Throughout this internship, I have witnessed myself become much more independent, more experienced, more confident, more thoughtful, and more informed about my personal interests and future career goals.

Some of my favorite memories and most rewarding experiences include:

National Trails Day, the second annual release of the black-footed ferret, National Public Lands Day and increasing accessibility at our Hogan and Luce Recreation Area, Great Dam Day, and of course the solar eclipse.

One of the finished camp sites at Hogan Reservoir. This project was probably the most challenging one. It required a ton of collaboration, equipment, materials and physical work. I am very happy that I got to contribute and be a part of it from start to finish.

Many of the projects I worked on this summer provided me with new skills such as installing signs and trail guides, installing bear boxes, installing fire rings, installing picnic tables, digging trenches and installing timbers to delineate campsites, installing livestock tanks, increasing recreation site accessibility to meet ADA/ABA requirements, mixing and pouring cement, and spreading and compacting gravel. I also learned how to use a variety of tools that I had never seen before. These include a post pounder, an auger, a chop saw, a sledge hammer, a Pulaski, a rock bar, a tamper, a gravel compacter, a york rake, a power washer, and the list goes on and on. I was surprised at how much I enjoyed using them all. Except for maybe the tamper when I accidentally tamped down on my toe. Ouch!

I wish I had taken advantage of working with our GIS Specialist a bit more because I hope to keep building on those skills in the future. However, I did gain many new experiences and skills working in the field that I never expected to learn.

Valuable Lessons I’ve Learned:

I am not a botanist, nor do I ever want to be.

Don’t be so hard on yourself, you’re doing the best you can. Learn to give yourself some credit and reflect on how far you’ve come.

There is something you can learn from everybody you meet.

You can’t please everyone, nor should you try. Some people aren’t going to like or understand the goal that you are trying to achieve, and that is okay.

As one door closes, another door opens…at the end of October, I will be taking over as the new Administrative Support Assistant for the BLM Cody Field Office. I am sad to end my CBG internship adventures, but I am very much looking forward to all of the new opportunities this position will bring now and in the future. I am also very excited to call Cody, WY my permanent home and continue exploring beautiful Wyoming and the Greater Yellowstone Area.

In the words of Tom Petty “you belong somewhere you feel free”. For me it’s Wyoming…for now 🙂

Melissa Higley

Recreation Intern

Bureau of Land Management ~ Cody Field Office



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