My First 10 Days with the BLM

I’ve just started to get a feel for the way that things operate here at the Bureau of Land Management’s Vale, OR office, and I must say, everybody here seems to have a great time managing their district. So far my supervisor, Susan Fritts and several others have been gracious enough to allow me to shadow with several different positions at the office so that I can get a feel for how they all work as a team to oversee the area. I was able to take a trip out to the field with one of their range technicians to spot cows and check barbed wire fences to ensure that all cattle were in their allotted pastures. Additionally, I went out to see if some areas around the district were suitable to be turned into gravel pits for road construction. I was even allowed to delve into some biology this week as I accompanied a large crew of employees from the BLM, Fish and Wildlife Service and the Forest Service to survey Columbia Spotted Frogs along Dry Creek (5). This was a great experience in animal collection, handling and tagging protocol, as well as an in depth look at how riparian habitats function in our district. All else aside, there has still been plenty of time to learn Botany. Justin, our botany intern, has let me accompany him on several monitoring trips, and he has even been kind enough to help me learn to identify some common forbs and shrubs in the area. Some examples of plants we looked at include Bitterroot – Lewisia (1), Buckwheat – Fagopyrum (2), Indian Paintbrush – Castilleja (3), and Hawk’s Beard – Crepis (4). I’m very much looking forward to next week’s course on seed collection in Chicago, and finally to the actual seed collection, which begins on the 18th. I’m excited to see where this internship will take me by my next blog post!








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