I started in June.
I am naturally critical being from New York. Then spending 10 years in Vermont, I’ve been a flat-lander, an outsider, someone who doesn’t belong. I expected the same experience in Wyoming.
Instead I was greeted with smiles and care. I was offered bedding materials, pots and pans, and food from co-workers. My room mates and I had created this friendly dynamic of sisterhood. The town turned out to be extraordinarily safe due to a large police force. The house we lived in was fun-a hot tub, large living quarters, and plenty of parking. I enjoyed the small town atmosphere and immediate access to the mountains. I became a member at the YMCA, library, yoga studio, and an occasional volunteer at the food pantry. I liked small town living! Enjoyed it so much I will be coming back for a second term (April-August 2015)! THANKS CLM!
Highlights at the BLM include gaining new skills-plant ID, bird ID, methods and observations. I better understand government structure. I got to attend a wildlife conference. Learned not to eat ground plums even though your co-worker says it’s safe. Taught a co-worker how to identify a plant for the first time, using a dichotomous key. Roamed my first historic fire in search of young sagebrush revival. Organized my own project.
My expectations were met and they exceeded what I envisioned the CLM experience would be like. What is happening in the West was of utter surprise to me. Culture and how we’ve chosen to use the landscape.
Important a-ha moments were GPS and GIS troubleshooting. Mainly getting in the field and realizing my GPS has everything I need and more for field work.
At 27, living in small town USA, and working for the BLM-I finally realized who I am as a person. I never had time enough to breathe and realize what I really wanted from life. I do now.