Saying goodbye to “The Silver State”

I reflect on my life in Nevada, otherwise known as “The Silver State”:

When I first arrived in Nevada, I was greeted by an 8″ snowfall.  Later, I was able to watch the Sagebrush shrubs unfurl their tiny leaves with the arrival of spring.  Over the following months, I observed the green hillsides melt into a pallet of browns as the spring forbs senesced.

Working in Nevada was a pleasure that I did not anticipate…

Yes, there were days when pulling thistles or spraying tall whitetop in 90 degree heat was the last job I wanted to do. But, if I had never come to Nevada, I would never have met my fellow interns, experienced the hurricane force winds of Washoe Valley, or attended quilting gatherings at a nearby town.  Working for the CLM and BLM has broadened my understanding of applied botany, preparing me for exciting days ahead in a new chapter of my life.

As I say goodbye to Nevada one last time, my heart is full of many wonderful memories and life lessons that will follow me in the days ahead.  Blessings to you, Nevada, Carson City team, and beautiful Sierra Nevada Mts. I will miss you!

–B. N.


Carson City (BLM)

Creatures from another planet?

It’s time to give you all an update about the noxious weed program here in Carson City!  Yes, we are in the so called “war against weeds,” and our months of strategic planning  (i.e.  data analysis and weed mapping) have prepared us to begin the attack against these exotic invaders…IMG_3689

Ok, so I thought you might like to see our personal protective equipment (PPE) intended for the days when we utilize chemical controls.  This week Doug and I decided that we ought to make sure everything  fits correctly.  As far as we can tell, it fits fairly well…and, we believe that the cowboy hardhat adds a nice touch!  It has definitely stimulated a number of laughs.  While we hope that we never have cause to be glad for the PPE, it is always better to have more protection than less.

Our first species to attack will be tall whitetop, otherwise known as perennial pepperweed (Lepidium latifolium). This will possibly be followed by several thistle species.  Later, we plan to return to the sites where we mechanically or chemically removed the invaders to determine the success of our efforts.  If all goes as planned, we will be able to revegetate these areas with native collections!

If you see us around in our gear, don’t worry–we are not invaders from another planet! Rather, we are the agents removing the noxious weed invaders!


Carson City, NV

Bureau of Land Management


What are the perceptions of people from the Midwest and East Coast regarding Nevada?   This was the start of an interesting conversation with my coworkers last week!   

It is not uncommon to hear people suggest that Nevada is a hot, barren desert…

As I take a few minutes to reflect upon my experiences here in Carson City, I am challenged to reconsider my own perceptions of Nevada.  While Nevada can be a hot, barren desert, it is so much more.  My experiences over the past three months have provided numerous opportunities to interact with several of Nevada’s social, cultural, and ecological features, each providing me with so-called “food for thought.”  Nevada, like any other place, is directly influenced by the decisions that people make.  Here, these decisions are often demonstrated as the conflict between restoring native plants and grazing.  But, this is not the whole story…

…Nevada is home to many rare species.  Yesterday, as we walked through one of our field sites, we were able to see Polyctenium williamsiae, a state threatened species found in only a handful of locations.  And, in many places throughout Nevada, we have had the opportunity of seeing archeological relics from the people who have lived here for centuries.  So as I bring my post to an end, I’ll share two facts that completely surprised me about Nevada–  1) Nevada is the most mountainous of all the states in the US and 2) Mark Twain lived here!

-Brittany N.

Carson City, Nevada

Bureau of Land Management

Native or Noxious?

Native plant— Balsamorhiza deltoidea

Native plant—Nama sp.

While the start of our internship has been limited to mostly office work, we have been quite busy preparing for the many field days that will require our forethought and ingenuity.  Doug and I joined the Carson City field office in February as noxious weed technicians.  We were immediately immersed into the BLM’s Integrated Pest Management Training where we not only learned about the numerous methods used to control pests, but also received our Pesticide Applicator Certification.  Since our training, we have been joined by three other interns with four more yet to come–welcome interns!!! 
Over the past weeks, it has been enjoyable to see how the Seeds of Success Program can directly support the efforts of weed removal and restoration efforts.  Specifically, any area infested with noxious weeds can be monitored, treated, and eventually re-vegetated using native seed collected from nearby populations. 
Native plant— Balsamorhiza deltoidea

Native plant— Balsamorhiza deltoidea

Our first field days were spent learning to operate 4-wheel drive vehicles and identifying both the native and non-native plants covering the Nevada ecosystems.  These species provide quite the challenge as I am not from this area and am unfamiliar with most of them!  Nonetheless, it has been an agreeable assignment to spend time discovering the tiny (0r BIG!) and beautiful plants that can handle the incredible temperature extremes and/or highly alkaline soils.  I’ve included a picture of two of the native species that we have encountered in the past few weeks: Balsamorhiza deltoidea and Nama sp.   In upcoming weeks, we will continue to monitor the native and noxious species.  Soon, we will be implementing control methods for the noxious ones.
As I mentioned above, I am not from Nevada. I am from the Midwest, and my assumptions regarding Nevada’s climate were completely shattered when I was greeted by eight inches of wet snow on my first day at work! Since then, I’ve enjoyed and respected the highly variable mountain weather.  If you don’t have mountains nearby, you should come by to expereience it yourself!
Field of Perennial Pepperweed (Lepidium latifolium) at Swan Lake, NV.

Field of Perennial Pepperweed (Lepidium latifolium) at Swan Lake, NV.