My last blog post:( :oh wait, nevermind!)

My internship began in April, so I was nearing the end of it this month, but I am excited to say I accepted a three-month extension. I am looking forward to staying in the Sacramento area in the foothills here for the fall. This month I traveled to and camped in Lee Vining to attend a California Native Plant Society workshop for collecting and reporting rare plant species, then I participated in CNPS staff-lead Rare Plant Treasure Hunt. We searched for and found Salix nivalis, snow willow, in the Eastern Sierras of Mono County. I hope to join other Rare Plant Treasure Hunts in the future, and maybe volunteer to lead sometime.


Looking east toward Virginia Lakes and Red Lake in Mono County.


Salix nivalis, snow willow, east of Red Lake in Mono County.


Aquilegia pubescens, Sierra columbine, east of Red Lake in Mono County.


Botanists and enthusiasts doing their thing on the Rare Plant Treasure Hunt in Mono County.

I was able to join in on another raptor survey at the Cosumnes River Preserve, and the sighting of the day for us was a Peregrine Falcon first observed by a fellow intern. It perched near us for a while before flying and diving above us, and we thought we saw it in the distance hunting doves some time later. We also had a nice view of a Sharp-shinned Hawk.

I have assisted with the checking and maintenance of insect traps, Malaise traps, and pan traps painted to attract pollinators. I have continued removing invasive species around Pine Hill Preserve. Upon returning to one location to remove those stubborn yellow star thistles that sprung up since the last visit, we learned that a very recent small fire had beat us to it. The roadside area of mostly invasive species is adjacent to rare plant habitat and has been treated for a number of years but had not recently experienced fire. Hopefully some rare plants will now germinate and have less competition due to the years of treatment. Relatively larger fires on the Preserve have apparently been more easily managed due to the presence of fire breaks, giving us some positive feedback for the fuels reduction work that has been implemented in recent years.


A small fire burned at the roadside on Pine Hill Preserve, leaving no yellow star thistle for us to pull.

The Pine Hill Preserve partners recently had a meeting to discuss the renewal of the Cooperative Management Agreement between parties, ongoing land acquisitions, research projects, etc. During the meetings it can be difficult for me to follow everything as a lot of unfamiliar terminology is used, and as I am on vacation now visiting family, I am trying to devote some time to study related topics. I’ll leave it at that so not outright announce my ignorance. I hope everyone is having a fun, productive summer and looking forward to fall.

John Woodruff

BLM Mother Lode Field Office

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