Bones, Wyo

My time here in WY is coming to a close, and it has been a busy season.  From marking fences, to GIS work, to helping the Seeds of Success crew, I feel I have accomplished a great deal this season.  My field partner and I spent the summer checking fences marked in a project started last season by another CBG Intern.  33,000 feet of fence was marked with vinyl J-channel markers, some with reflective tape, to increase visibility of the rangeland fences for wildlife to reduce mortalities because of fence collisions.  (As you may not be a contractor and have no idea what vinyl J-channel even is, please see picture below. ) 

The primary species of concern in our project is the Greater sage-grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus), although it is our hope that big game species such as pronhorn antelope, mule deer, and elk will be positively affected as well.  Interestingly enough, I have only seen living sage-grouse a number of times this season, only twice during work in the field.  I have seen more than anyone’s fair share of bones.  As unfortunate as it was to witness so many mortalities, especially with this species of great conservation concern, it was fascinating at the same time.  Until now, I have not had the opportunity to learn so much about the bone structure and physiology of a specific species of bird.   Did I think I would be a psuedo-archealogist and learning so much in-depth information about bones this season?  Not really.  But it has been a fun experience learning about a bird in a particular way I had not yet imagined.

My internship with CBG has been a great introduction to the BLM.  I value the time spent here with this agency and the people in this district office.  I have enjoyed learning so much about such a wonderful species as well as better understanding how much I already know.  I never thought 4wd skills would be so helpful…

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