I can’t believe the summer has flown by so fast; I have started to see some of our few deciduous trees turn colors, it’s August! This past month has been very busy, my fellow intern and I were able to get UTV training to help access some of our inventory units. As with a lot of BLM land in northeastern Wyoming, several of our project locations are surrounded by private land, and with the grasses finally curing, the landowner is worried about grass fires and so we get to use the UTV. This project is primarily to reduce the risk of mountain pine beetles through implementing a timber sale. This location is just south of Sundance and for any of you who likes classic movies this is where the “Kid” got his name. One of the great things about this project location is that there are views of Devils Tower on the horizon. So every day we get to eat our lunch with some amazing views with cows looking on.
Besides the projects that we have been working on throughout the summer, there have been opportunities to help out other field offices. Last week we were helping a fire ecologist and a state forester assess and inventory land for a timber sale, with the final goal of reducing tree densities. With the reduction of tree densities, the likelihood of a catastrophic crown fire is reduced. It was amazing to work with and learn from people who are professionals, even if they scoff at that title. As the project location was approximately 3 hours from our field office, the other intern and I were able to camp in southern Montana next to the Powder River. All I can say is that car camping has so many benefits over backpacking. This is one of the aspects of this internship that I have really enjoyed, working with different people and learning aspects of this job that I had not even considered.