While working with the staff of the Surprise Resource area, I have gained many new experiences. One of my first projects that I got to work on was doing vegetation surveys for weed treatments. In the Modoc area, and this is probably true for many areas, we have issues with invasive species like Medusahead (Taeniatherum caput-medusa), Japanese Brome (Bromus arvensis), Ventenata, and cheatgrass (Bromus tectorum). Previously, members of the staff had applied a bacterial herbicide to several test plots in order to see how effective this herbicide was on invasive grasses. We had mixed results but it had been less then a year since it had been applied.
Other projects that I have been working on include doing water quality assessments in perennial creeks across the desert. I have also been working on riparian vegetation monitoring, range health monitoring, and range compliance. One of my wildlife projects this month had me finding a small thermal sensor on the side of a steep mountain rock field in order to replace it with a new one. The sensor detected pika and other small mammal movements and was used to monitor the habitat usage along the rock slope. One of my projects took me to East Wall Canyon in order to monitor a pipeline for potentially new planting projects. East Wall Canyon sits below the Sheldon Wildlife Refuge in Washoe County, Nevada and is a very remote region to visit. However tucked inside the numerous small canyons, streams, meadows, and mahogany forests are little homesteads that mark the history of settlement in the area.
Horse Creek, a small perennial creek that runs into Oregon.
A rattlesnake that we found on Tuledad Mountain. This is the first of the two rattlesnakes that I have seen so far this year.
Over the Forth of July weekend, I got to drive a small first responder vehicle in the Lake City, CA parade. We had about twenty-two entrees in the community parade and about three hundred and fifty individuals in attendance in a town with fifty individuals normally. Several members of the field office were in attendance, participated in the parade, and helped with the barbecuing at the potluck that followed. So far I’ve had a lot of fun working in the Great Basin and am enjoying the small town atmosphere and am looking forward to more fun experiences.
Mosquito Valley from the Barrel Springs Road.
I hope everyone is enjoying their internship and staying safe out there!