That’s a wrap

Not much has changed since I last posted, most days consist of scouting spots with noxious weeds and treating those areas. We have also taken time to scout for rare plants in the district to make a herbarium voucher based on past known sites, but unfortunately we were unable to find any. My partner was out of town for a week so I did get to mix things up for a week by working the night shift with wildlife. I got to participate in Spotted owl surveys, in which we go out at night to set points and use a pre recorded owl call to call them in hopes of a response. I was told in the past they would fly right up to you, but now due to habitat loss and the increased population and competition for territory with the barred owl, their population has been dwindling and will rarely make their presence known. The barred owls though will always call back, in fact one juvenile flew to the tree right in front of us as seen in the picture below.

I have also been able to participate in a frog survey, were we waded down a creek looking for mostly frogs but took note of any other animal found. The stream for the most part was at our ankles but went as deep as our waste, but it was amazing to be surrounded by an old growth forest, unfortunately due to the fear of wetting my phone I didn’t get any photos. We did find several yellow and red legged frogs, a couple of crayfish, and water snakes.

A red legged frog

Unfortunately, my time as a CLM intern will end at the end of the month and I will soon become an official BLM employee for two more months, I wanted to take a moment to reflect on my experience as a CLM intern. I learned so much during my time here, not only on species identification but also invasive weed control methods and gained some insight what its like to work with a government agency. I am so thankful for everyone at the Chicago Botanical Gardens, especially Chris Woolridge and Krissa Skogen, for making this experience possible!

Exploring Oregon

Since the workshop ended, I have been hard at work controlling the invasive plants in the area. Its crazy to me as you start to learn which plants are invasive, that landscape you once thought was beautiful for all its yellow flowers and berries is actually a nightmare. They are called invasive for a reason, they completely dominate in most areas and completely out compete the native species. At times it becomes overwhelming, because everywhere you go they are there and you just want to control that population, but there’s only so much time so we have to strategically plan on which spots to hit and which invasive we want to target. We have been mostly focusing on False Brome (Brachypodium sylvaticum) which is from the Poaceae family and Scotch Broom (Cytisus scoparius) from the Fabaceae family. Most times we will choose to hit areas that are heavily visited by people and areas that lumber sales may take place to prevent further spread of the plant. While it can some what difficult work at times, its truly satisfying to come back to an area and find all the work you did paid off and the weeds are dead.

This is one of our sites and that is a field full of Scotch broom.

Outside of work I try to spend most of my time exploring the beautiful state of Oregon, for anyone else that wants to visit Oregon or for future interns stationed in Roseburg, these could be some suggestions. Ashland is a little town slightly North of California, I went on Saturday and it was bustling with people going to the farmers or artisan market in the downtown area. The downtown consist of a bunch of little shops, restaurants, and coffee shops along with lithia park that is a forested area around Ashland Creek. Next, I drove over to Crater Lake which isn’t too far and I was astonished, I don’t think I have ever seen water so blue before! Unfortunately most of the trails were closed due to the late snow fall, so I would recommend checking before, but either ways its definitely worth it to just to drive around.

Crater lake (sorry I’m not sure how to rotate here)

The following weekend I got to go to Bend and meet up with Jessie and Brianne, who I met at the workshop! They are located in Klamath Falls which is a few hours away from Roseburg and some of the coolest people I have met! We did dispersal camping about 15 minutes outside of town, which made it really convenient to come and go as we pleased. I just want to say Bend is probably my favorite town so far, every block consist of Bike shop, brewery, and coffee shop, there are a couple parks scattered around town and its a very bike/ pedestrian friendly town, you can also see Mt. Bachelor from it.

For the 4th of July I stayed closer to town and checked out some of the waterfalls nearby, there are about a dozen but I only visited two Watson falls and Toketee falls. They are easily accessible and both are less than a mile hike to the falls.

Toketee on the left, Watson on the right

Time flies

I’ve been working at the BLM office in Roseburg Oregon for about a month now and I have loved every day! I came all the way from Florida, not knowing anyone but everyone in the office has been super friendly and done a great job making me feel welcomed. While there’s not much to the town, the beautiful landscape, being surrounded by mountains, lush woods, and the Umpqua River running through it makes up for it.

So far everyday has been a new experience, going out to survey the endangered lupine, surveying for noxious/invasive weeds, and treating it, I’ve even had the opportunity to go out with wildlife to survey bald eagles. My favorite experience so far though has to be the workshop at the Chicago Botanic Garden. It was great meeting the amazing individuals who run the CLM internship, truly some of the nicest people I have met. It was also great meeting the other interns stationed in other offices around the country, some of the best people I’ve met and while we all come from different walks we had a great time! During this week I got advice on career and grad school, learned new skills and refined skills already known. Thank you Joanne, Chris, and Krissa for making it all possible!