Still holding it down in Surprise Valley. Things are going well and I’ve had the opportunity to work on a number of interesting projects. Most recently, I spent some time in Susanville helping out with a FIAT assignment (Fire and Invasive Annuals Treatment). For an added bonus, I got to go to a BBQ and meet some awesome CLM alumni! The goal of this assignment was to identify sites within focal sage grouse habitat and prioritize them for treatment and protection. I spent time writing up these plans for the Surprise Field office which required a lot of research and background investigation. I then helped compile all the write ups from the Western Great Basin to send off to FWS. It was a great learning experience.
Currenlty, I have been focused on developing a monitoring schedule for the upcoming field season, which couldn’t come any sooner! This has included designing a plan for post fire treatment and natural recovery monitoring, identifying seeds of success sites and scheduling habitat restoration monitoring. In regards to monitoring, there has been a lot of discussion revolved around the AIM protocol. This is the primary terrestrial monitoring protocol adopted by the BLM. I have been attending meetings with other field offices to discuss what answers we can get from this protocol, what answers we still need, and in the latter case, additional monitoring we can use to get them. It has been rewarding to meet a lot of new folks and gain exposure to different methods of monitoring and land management.
I have also been doing a little NEPA writing. We are proposing habitat restoration/juniper reduction treatments on a number of sites throughout the field office. A programmatic EA was completed in 2013. The next step is to write the DNAs for the 2015/2016 projects which I have been great at putting off until now.
Thanks for reading!