The past month here in Utah has been all about seed collecting. We are desperately trying to get to our goal of 20 SOS collections. Field days are really unpredictable, somedays we drive all day and never see a large enough plant population to collect seed from and others we find a few. Obviously the days where we find none are not ideal but still there is beauty to be found in everyday. I have really enjoyed getting to know this beautiful Utah country. Field days are filled with fantastic views such as these:
Last week I had the opportunity to tour a restoration project on a portion of the Paunsaugunt in the Dixie National Forest. It was nice to get a day off from seed collecting and it was fun learning about this project. The goal of this restoration project is to expand habitat for the Boreal Toad, whose population is dramatically declining due to the Chytrid fungis that infects amphibians. The Forest Service has temporarily excluded cattle grazing and relocated beaver into the area to mimic the historical nature of the area. It is amazing how beavers can change a landscape and how well the land and waterways have healed themselves so far. The best part of the field trip, though, was getting to release a Boreal Toad into its new home. Find out more about the project, here: https://wri.utah.gov/wri/reports/ProjectSummaryReport.jasper?id=3672
In addition to being a great learning experience, the tour of the restoration project gave me a sense of pride in the work I am doing for the SOS project, knowing that (hopefully) some of the seeds I am collecting now will be used in the future to restore habitat for other wildlife. My hope is to one day work on a restoration project and make a positive change for wildlife.
Until next time,
Richfield Field Office, BLM