Every month when it comes time for me to write my blog I find, without fail, that I am astounded by the experiences I have had and the skills I have gained through this internship program. Last week we had a Conservation Corps Crew from Montana visiting our field office and we were able to get out several days with them to collect Artemisia tridentata ssp. wyomingensis seeds. It was a HUGELY productive week for us and a lot of fun to get to work with a team of highly motivated, like-minded individuals. It was great to hear the crew members stories and reflections about the conservation projects they worked on up in Montana. With the crew’s help, we were able to collect mind boggling amounts of seed, much of which will be used to re-seed previously burned sites in our field office.
This week was also an exciting week for Hillary (the other CLM Range Intern here) and myself because we were able to put out the first of thousands of freshly made sage-grouse fence markers. It is a truly great feeling to successfully go through the process of having an idea, making a plan, and then implementing that plan in the field. After weeks of mapping fence line, researching sage-grouse fence markers, and then making markers of our own, it is fantastic to be able to start marking fences in core sage-grouse habitat. We hope this effort will reduce sage-grouse fence collisions, which have been found to be responsible for 40% of total species fatalities.