Goodbyes are always Bittersweet


I started the season not knowing what to expect and as the last week rolls by I have time to look back on all the adventures I had here in Rawlins, WY. The season definitely started off slow in April. Snow storms hit every weekend causing a not so good beginning to the field season. I even did a pack test in the snow, which was a first.

As the snow melted in May the field season finally took off. We were preparing campsites, by making them look pretty for the travelers that would make their getaway and relax in southern Wyoming. Also, as a recreational intern, we were changing out BLM road signs that had been sitting in a tool shed for quite a few years.

Things changed for my internship halfway through. My mentor got a different job and left us leading ourselves here with the BLM. He did leave us a list that included monitoring campsites on a weekly basis, monitoring WSAs, and setting out traffic counters. This was enough for about a month of work.
Other opportunities did arise and I was able to get out with others in the field office. The projects were vast. I did toad surveys, AIM sites, forest inventory, checked pit fall traps, and so much more. The people here were willing to share their knowledge and I was willing to learn.
So with this experience I’ve been able to narrow down what I want to do in the future and gain insight of a federal agency I had not worked with in the past. This was a wonderful opportunity that I was able to build my resume, develop lasting relationships with my coworkers, and most of all be outside doing work in the environmental field. Thanks CBG for making it enjoyable this season!


See you in the future Wyomong,
Rebecca Radtke

Halfway through the season

Can’t believe it’s already halfway through the season! It was a slow start in April but now it has been constant work outside. We had a nuisance bear at one of our campsites so no more picnic baskets for Yogi and Boo Boo.

One of the engineers welding for the bear proof garbage.

One of the engineers welding for the bear proof garbage can.

End product to keep the bears away from the trash.

End product to keep the bears away from the trash.


My cointern and I have also been on a mission to change out BLM road signs and so far have accomplished about twenty transitions from old and decrepit to new and refreshed signs.


New sign


Old sign we replaced.

Old sign we replaced.

We have also been monitoring our WSA’s, which can be an interesting truck ride, considering some roads are not maintained. Monitoring consists of us pounding in carcinites and putting on stickers to mark the boundary, scoping for wildlife, and checking for intrusions from people not using designated trails.

Wild horses by one of our WSA's

Wild horses by one of our WSA’s


Rocky Mountain Columbine in another one of our WSA’s

and here’s an encounter with a prairie rattlesnake in town.

He's a big one

He’s a big one

Until next time from the Rawlins Field Office.

Rebecca Radtke

Exploring possibilities around the office

Well, last time I had written a post it was still snowy over here. There was just not a lot of field work going around. Now, it’s busier than ever! I have started to go out with others from the office to find my niche in the biological world on my free time.

First, I had the chance to work with the forester here in the Rawlins Field Office. We searched for a sensitive tree species that doesn’t normally grow around the area. We may have succeeded.


possible white bark pine

We tagged the trees for further examination later. Then the forester took us to a potential commercial site and we did plot surveys. I had never had the opportunity to use a laser to measure tree height in school, but glad I got to here. Makes it so much easier!

Second, I saw how reclamation is evaluated on oil and gas pads. We did dot surveys to see what plants were around the area, made sure there was bird cones on vents, and also made sure there were no critters in reservoirs.

Third, I went out with another CBG intern here in the field office. She’s working in the biology department doing Seeds of Success. I was glad to get out and learn some plants that are in the area. The wildflowers are in full bloom. I got some pics of the action.






Evening Primrose



Lastly, I can put professional toad catcher on my resume. The field office volunteers with the Fish and Wildlife service to inventory the endangered Wyoming toad to see how the population is doing. A total of around 111 toads were found. Woot woot!


Medium size toad


Ready for release I’m sure


Adult female toad

I forgot to mention what I’ve actually been doing as a recreation intern, which encompasses replacing old BLM road signs with new ones, painting picnic tables, and monitoring. Here’s a few pics from the monitoring today

We get to replace these if they're shot or broken

We get to replace these if they’re shot or broken

View off of one of our campsites we monitor

View of one of our campsites we monitor

Ladder over barbed wire fencing

Ladder over barbed wire fencing

Bridge to a trail on the Encampment River near another one of our campsites

Bridge to a trail on the Encampment River near another one of our campsites

That is all for now,

Rebecca (Rawlins Field Office)

Learning the Recreation Way

I had the opportunity to visit a new part of Wyoming last week. It is with great honor to present to you one the most cherished recreational spots in Lander.

johnny behind the rocks

Johnny Behind the Rocks (area view)

johnny behind the rocks

Johnny Behind the Rocks (trail view)

Johnny Behind the Rocks is a mountain bike trail system on BLM land that finally got well established about 3 years ago. Last week I had the pleasure of running on this trail with recreation planners around the state. This was after a full day of learning the hardships and struggles that come with being a recreation planner at the Recreation/NLCS workshop.

Recreation planners have several different jobs to take on including outreach, inventories, permits, as well as maintaining recreational sites just to name a few. It can be a heavy load for one person. That’s were my co-intern and I come in. We are supposed to help relieve some of the work load by doing some WSA (wilderness study area) assessments. Only thing holding us back is the weather.

Since I’ve been here (Rawlins, WY) it has snowed more than it has been sunny. Every weekend has not had even the slightest amount of sun. I dream of sun when I go to bed. I long for the days in the office to grow smaller just to be able to go into the field and learn new areas, wildlife, plants, and hike on some trails. The season is a slow start, but my hopes run high that the weather will give us a break and we can go out, show our potential and make an impression on the BLM we work for.

Sunny days

Hoping for sunny days

BLM (Rawlins Field Office)