The title’s the hardest part!


Hello! And greetings from beautiful Montrose, CO. It’s a crisp, fall afternoon here and I’ve spent the day in the office working on various projects as we wait for the adobe hills to dry out from the approximately 2 inches of rain they received yesterday, the official first day of fall. Luckily, my last two days of summer couldn’t have been better – two days of bliss floating down the Gunnison River with a bestie from college.

I’d also just like to take a moment to point out that I absolutely love everyone’s posts. I’m sorry I don’t comment more (i.e. at all) but I really do read the blog and I love finding out about what everyone is doing and looking at everyone’s pictures.

Now I’d like to talk about the wildlife life count for the summer. I’ve seen:

– a little baby kestral (a.k.a. a fledgling – not really a baby)
– a mama black bear and her three little baby cubs (so cute!)
– a bobcat that had just caught a rodent of some sort
– and numerous deer, elk, and pronghorns

Lady Elk

A heard of Lady Elk checking my mentor and I out in Burn Canyon.


Handsome ram snacking on corn in Escalante Canyon.

Little Bull Snake Buddy

Little Bull Snake Buddy

While most of my work revolves around rare plant surveys, I’ve also gotten to do a fair amount of work relating to wildlife. For instance, I recently got to head up a gnarly road on a UTV to get back to a small creek up on the Grand Mesa. There we did electrofishing with the idea of doing genetic testing on what we believe is a population of Cutthroats. I’ve also gotten to go out with Jedd, the Hydrologist, to do some macroinvertebrate inventory which has been very pleasent – just beautiful days out playing around in the river.


Possible Cutthroat – waiting on the genetic testing!

Weighing Fish

My mentor Ken being crafty and rigging a way to weigh fish!

And of course I’ve been doing plant stuff! The CLMer’s from Denver have come out twice now to help out with Colorado Hookless cactus monitoring and Clay-lovin’ Wild Buckwheat monitoring. I really enjoyed working with Carol (CO BLM State Botanist) and her CLM crew – you guys are awesome!


CLM CO Crew! Nathan, Darnisha, Katie, and me after completing a long week of cactus monitoring.

Carol also recently helped Ken and I out with ID’ing some pretty cool plants that we were struggling with (thanks Carol!!).

Proboscidea louisianica

Crazy plant I found in the adobe’s – Proboscidea louisianica. In the Martyniaceae family a.k.a. the Unicorn Plant family!

Anyway, now we’re working on Land Health Assessment’s (woohoo – more transects!) and I’m getting busy on all the data entry from my Sage Grouse Habitat Assessment Framework from way back in May. Well, I’m signing off!

Brandee Wills
Uncompahgre Field Office – BLM
Montrose, CO

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About Brandee

Hello! My name is Brandee and I was born in St. Louis, MO, grew up in the beautiful New River Valley in south-western Virginia, and have spent the past five years going to school and bumming around the western slope of Colorado. Recently, I decided to quit my day job as a telemarketer/ski bum and start doing work related to my Biology major (hence this CLM internship).

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