All Good Things Must Come to an End

Farewells can be difficult, especially when you’ve enjoyed yourself so much. The end to my CBG internship in Lander, WY is bittersweet. I remember driving to Lander from Iowa. Approaching the mountains was exhilarating. Never in my wildest dreams did I imagine myself moving to a place next to the mountains. The breathtaking views were indescribable and I will greatly miss them.

During the last few weeks of my internship, I spent time doing a variety of projects. My partner and I spent countless days letting down a fence to aid in elk migration. We also got to assist with two sage projects: a reclamation on Green Mountain and a restoration at Castle Gardens.

Reflecting back on my CBG internship, I never would have thought I would gain so much knowledge. Coming from a tallgrass prairie to sagebrush steppe was both intimidating and exciting. Exciting when I could actually recognize some plants from my time in central Nebraska and encouraging when I started recognizing plants that I had just learned. Though the short green season made identifying plants hard once they browned (literally everything just looked like dead grass haha).

I now leave Lander (for the most part) with a sense of accomplishment. I’ve learned so many new things, both from my mentor and from the CBG conference. I will miss working in the BLM office but I hope to return someday to visit or work.

Until next time,

– James Noyama
Bureau of Land Management – Lander Field Office                                                 Lander, Wyoming

And then there was one…

Well, what began as a group of six original CBG interns at the Lander Field Office in Wyoming has dwindled down to single ol’ me (luckily Gwen, our co-worker who started out with the Great Basin Institute was recently hired on through CBG and I am not without a field buddy). It has been an awesome summer getting to know my fellow interns who hail from all over the country. Along with our adventures in the field, we all shared a penchant for Thai food, “Just Dance,” and movie nights, all of which I will miss!
We have been having surprisingly nice weather in this part of Wyoming, with a taste of snow that only lasted for a couple days. The cold and clear days mean that the last month has still been full of field projects. Some last cow scouting was done to make sure there were no stragglers left behind and with our riparian monitoring mostly finished we became jack-of-all-trades interns, working on sagebrush planting, fence mending, and even some sheep tracking. My biggest task for the next week is to mark an approx. 8 mile fence with sage grouse clips to make it more visible for grouse and other wildlife this winter.
Another project that I recently started working on is a template for an Environmental Assessment that looks at the potential impacts of a proposed conifer removal project. I have learned a ton about the NEPA process and was excited to be brought in on a more policy oriented project for the BLM which will also lend itself to a future career in environmental consulting.
It is bittersweet to be facing my last couple weeks as a CLM intern but I’m happy to be kept busy until the very end. Until next time…

– Coli
Lander Field Office
Lander, Wyoming