A New Beginning

It’s hard to believe I’ve already finished my first week of interning at the BLM office in Roseburg, Oregon. Growing up in the Midwest, I could never imagine the different kinds of beautiful landscapes that waited in the Pacific Northwest outside of Illinois for me to see. For our first day in the field, we journeyed to a monitoring plot of Kincaid’s Lupine (Lupinus oreganus) which is a federally listed threatened plant. After driving in the mountains, we parked and proceeded to hike to the location of the plot.

Here is a picture of my co-intern, Robin, and one of the BLM botanists, Aaron, that we were assisting. We eventually made it to the plot and started our data collection. It was a 20×20 m plot and we had to record sizes¬† of the plants and amounts of inflorescences in each 1x1m section. It seemed that the plant population was growing and we even found plants outside of the plot, which indicated that it was spreading.

The next day we went to a different plot of lupines that were planted. I have never seen so much poison oak in my life. It seems that this will be the biggest hazard we will face in the field.

The next day we accompanied a few of the foresters from the BLM office into the field so they could look at several stands for timber sale. I learned a few different things such as that when selling a stand for harvest, they have to leave a certain amount of trees for habitat for wildlife that depend on them. Also, if the stand was burned over (which many of them were from wildfires within the past few years), they did not have to leave any trees for habitat and could sell the whole thing for harvest.

The stand between the rock outcrops and the already harvested stand was being evaluated for sale.

Here is a picture of a pretty gnarly snag that was in a stand being evaluated for timber sale.

Overall, it was a pretty good first week  of breathtaking views and gaining new skills and knowledge. I look forward to what the next couple months of this internship will bring!

Will Farhat – CLM Intern with the Bureau of Land Management Roseburg District

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