Blitzkrieg on Seed

My internship has been full of changing priorities and tasks from fire monitoring and fire intensity mapping, to evaluating range lands, to monitoring T&E plant species, but recently I have had a simple task…get as much seed as possible as fast as possible. My team and I have made so many collections so quickly that we are up to our ears in bags of seed. It has proved difficult to try to keep up with our seed and seed shipments, which has taught me that organization is key when doing seed collections.

A perk to working at the BLM Carson City District Office is that we get to do seed collections in some very different ecosystems. Last week we were at the gates of Yosemite National Park around 10, 000 ft in elevation, seed collecting in the Eastern Sierra Nevada Mountains trying to get any high elevation seed present. The last day we were in the area we had some nice snow showers, which proved bad for seed collecting, but great on the team’s spirits.

View from a meadow near the gates of Yosemite National Park.

Snowy hillside around Saddlebag Lake near Yosemite.

This past week we ventured out to a vast valley within out district called Dixie Valley, where we collected salt-desert species in and around a large playa. We went from collecting at 10,000+ feet to collecting at 3,000 feet in a matter of a few days. It’s really great to be able to collect different seed from so many different species and ecosystems in just a few days.

Look towards the east from Dixie Valley, NV.

I think my team and I have made roughly 50-60 seed collections in just a weeks worth of time, which enforces the lesson that organization is key. I’m not sure if our efforts were average, good, or excellent, but I’m proud of my efforts as well as my team’s.

Throughout the field season I knew that seed collecting was going to be a major component, but it always seemed to be in the back of my mind because we were swamped with so many other tasks. Now my team and I have transitioned into a seed collecting machine, which I have been told won’t let up until probably the end of November. Our blitzkrieg on seed is bittersweet though because we are now camping in nightly temperatures of about 35 degrees and soon to be freezing. Although the nights and mornings are discomforting, the days are really nice. The rugged temperature swings are annoying at best, but I get over it when I reflect on the great work that my team and I are doing for the SOS program and our CLM internship.