Please keep in touch!

Sadly, this will be my final blog post as a CLM intern. I recently accepted a position as an Americorps volunteer as a Prairie Science Specialist at the Center for Natural Lands Management (CNLM, haha!) in Olympia, Washington! Check out if you are interested! I just moved in yesterday, leaving Lakeview a few weeks early. I am super excited to be in Olympia (It’s between 2 awesome National Parks!!!) and to return to doing research, something that I really miss. . It’s quite an adjustment going from the extreme temperature fluctuations of the sagebrush steppe to the mild and rainy temperate rainforests and prairies. I have a lot of catching up to do on prairie ecosystems, and I can’t wait to learn about the projects going on at CNLM!

Last weekend a group of us drove around the remaining part of our weed mapping study area on our way to some hot springs in the Hart Mountain Antelope Refuge. As we sped past the tens of thousands of acres that will eventually be scoured meter by meter for invasive annual grasses, I realized how extremely vast our study area is. This trip really put things into perspective for me. I know we can’t possibly come close to meeting our initial mapping goals, but it is nice knowing that we are a small piece of the puzzle. Although I am quick to forget it, our work here really is important. Even though it may not always be very fun, exciting, or thought provoking, it is still a significant contribution to the land managers and others looking to make informed decisions about this huge expanse of public land.

Overall CLM has been a great work experience! I have learned a ton. A brief list would include: using Junos, keying out grasses, collecting seeds, monitoring range land health and utilization, navigating crazy BLM roads, and the importance of comfortable boots! It’s been great working with a variety of personalities and having a really laid-back boss, shout out to you, Brennan!

CLM has also been a great experience on a personal level. I’ve definitely gotten to know myself a lot better, I’ve had a chance to discover what I am really interested in, and pursue a (tentative) direction that I would like to go. Although I’m super optimistic about the future, I can’t help but be sad when I reminisce about the wonderful 4.5-ish months spent in Lakeview. I’ve learned so much including: how to French braid, how to eat more vegetables, how to play darts, and I’ve even learned to like some country music! Most importantly I’ve learned that saying yes to an adventure is always more fun than staying home.

I am definitely going to miss all the good times and the awesome people that have been such a huge part of my life here. It’s amazing how quickly complete strangers can become your best friends. It was super difficult to say goodbye, I wish I could just take everyone with me so that I would never have to say it! Farewell fellow CLMers! If you are in the Seattle/Olympia area anytime between now and next September please let me know, I would seriously love some visitors!

Over and out,
Sarah Krock
Lakeview BLM

Strategically Wandering

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends “2 hours and 30 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity every week and muscle-strengthening activities on 2 or more days a week that work all major muscle groups.” My co-worker and I hike briskly over rocky, uneven terrain for at least 6 hours per day while carrying our packs filled with food, water, and extra layers. We get about 10x the recommended amount of exercise each week to be “healthy.” It is pretty awesome getting paid to work out every day, and I definitely have no problem falling asleep every night. Plus I am going to have some gnarly calluses on my feet after all my blisters heal! We still haven’t found any weeds to map, but we do get to see a lot of scenery. And a LOT of sagebrush.


BLM Lakeview, OR

“Adventure is out there!”

Hello, everyone! My name is Sarah and I am one of the new CLM interns at the Bureau of Land Management in Lakeview, Oregon. I just moved here from Ohio last week, and it sure has been an adventure! Being in a completely foreign place, making new friends, and working with new people was a little daunting at first, but so far it has been great. Everyone I have met so far has been very friendly and helpful. I am really enjoying the small town atmosphere and getting to know my four housemates and the other seasonal workers.

I am working on a project that involves mapping invasive annual grasses such as Meduasahead rye (Taeniatherum canput-medusae) and North Africa grass (Ventenata dubia); as well as other noxious weeds as we find them. I have a lot of learning do; the plant species are all unfamiliar to me. We haven’t been able to locate a sample of Ventenata yet, which is a good thing, but it would be nice to see it in person so I know exactly what I’m looking for. I am still learning how to use the handheld GPS units (Trimble Juno) which are pretty amazing little devices! The maps we create will be useful in analyzing Sage Grouse habitat, as well as invasive species monitoring and control.

My first week was great. The other interns and I learned how to properly load, unload, and ride ATVs. It was a completely new experience for me, but by the end of the day it was just plain fun. I’ll probably be using ATV’s at some point during the summer so I’m glad I learned how to use them right away.

Compared to Ohio, the Oregon high desert seems really desolate, but really there is life everywhere. Besides the great variety of forbs, shrubs, and grasses, I’ve also had the opportunity to see antelope, lizards, a horny toad, quail, a bald eagle and several other birds that I don’t know the names of yet. I am really excited to be here and I’m incredibly thankful to be a part of the CLM internship program. I think that Ellie from the movie ‘Up’ sums up my feelings pretty well: “Adventure is out there!”