Boll on Lookout

It is my last day here at the Bureau of Land Management. I owe a giant thank you to the entire office who welcomed me since day one. I wish everyone the best as we part ways and head on to other opportunities. To the district, to the people, to the landscape, thank you for all the experiences.

For those potential interns listening, take this opportunity. No matter how far from home this takes you, run with it and make the most of it. It is truly an internship that will give you the exposure and experiences you need to succeed in the natural resource career field. Make the most of this and discover/develop your passion.

This is Boll on Lookout signing off.

Take care.

As The Season Comes To A Close.

We are in the middle of the last few weeks of field weather here. Lately I have been fortunate enough to work with the Wild Horse and Burro Expert applying a new population control technique that includes getting up close to each band of horses. Approaching bands without a single set of eyes detecting your every move proved much tougher than I had originally thought. The task has been time intensive and difficult to say the least, and tactics to get close to the bands have been continually refined, but as of yet there has been very little success.

As I sat on the edge of a water catchment yesterday, I began to think of these past eight months. I remembered the small amount of office work I had to complete when I first started this internship, the small infrequent rainstorms we had to be aware of in the spring, and the muddy roads that we risked trying to not get stuck. Then I recalled the bulk of the internship. The hot, dry, and dusty conditions and how the light of day seemed to last so long. But now, I looked across a vast landscape of sage brush steppe, steep canyons, and numerous rock slides. All of the willows surrounding the catchment were barren and the once murky water was healed over with thick ice that croaked and groaned as it tried to thaw and come back to life. This frosted landscape before me seemed like a far cry from the work season I once knew. There have been a lot of great connections and experiences made on this internship and as the season comes to a close… the office work closes in.

Vale Dispatch this is me on Lookout

I am nearing the end of my original internship of five months, in fact I just entered in the last 80 hours of the 880 allotted before this post.

I obviously have not been very punctual when it comes to writing blogs describing my Conservation Land Management experience. However, I have come to learn several lessons in the past five months and several thoughts have crossed my mind which are as follows.

Public lands worked on by Conservation Land Management interns are not always functional. These lands are often plagued by disturbance events, enveloped in invasive plant and animal species, and left altered beyond recognition of the native state. These picturesque public lands we often see are not always indicative of the state of health of other lesser known lands available to the public. I have seen channelized streams, monocultures of invasive species, severely grazed pastures, unimaginable soil loss, and large scales of land conversion among other things, as I am sure many of my fellow interns have.

These sights may make some people pessimistic, or even defeated. I however, am somewhat empowered by the fact that I have so much work ahead of me. Even though I feel the weight of such a daunting task, and am touched with the hint of sadness and responsibility associated with this destruction, I am reminded that these processes can often times work in the opposite direction. A direction that pushes these landscapes out of a negative spiral and back to a functioning condition. I just need to figure out along side other interns how to make that happen. We are here to witness the non functioning along side the pristine. We are shown the pristine in order to stoke the fire under the non functioning and surround ourselves with the desirable. It is all well within our power.

CLM thank you for this knowledge.