A Myriad of Experiences

Well, another 3 weeks have flown by! It is hard to imagine that so much time has passed. As the title of this post implies, I have had countless experiences. I will just touch on a few I found most meaningful.

First, attending the CBG Workshop in Chicago was by far one of the greatest learning experiences I’ve had thus far. The knowledge I’ve gained gained on plants was heavily reinforced and jogged many memories from my graduate classes in Nebraska. Also, simply the real-talk on getting jobs after this internship were beyond beneficial. I feel slightly more prepared to apply for and get a job after the CLM Internship.

Second, we began monitoring the riparian systems the allotment we were assigned for the field season and continued monitoring the cattle. Having never worked on a riparian system, I was excited to learn whatever I could from my mentor and the permittee that accompanied us the first day. Just hearing the permittee’s thoughts on the land and management practices was amazing. The plethora of knowledge he had was quite surprising as well. I believe that his accompaniment further enhanced the learning process. He even went so far as to test us on the land formations around us after he taught us the names. That was unexpected pleasure and helped ingrain the names into my mind. My partner and I practiced saying the names of the formations while doing compliance checks for cattle.

Surveying for Cattle Compliance Within a Previously Burned Pasture

Last, the amazing views and critters I have seen while monitoring have been awe-inspiring. The abundance of Pronghorn still surprises me. The young of the year have grown so much in the past few weeks. It is interesting seeing how many are very timid and run at the sight of our truck but others wait until we get fairly close before bounding off with their mother.

Other critters we’ve seen thus far include sage grouse (with young!), Golden Eagle, Lark Sparrows, Lark Buntings, Mule Dear, and horny toads! I thought a horny toad was horny, toad but was surprised to find out it is a lizard (I honestly have not heard of them until coming to Wyoming). The horny toad was super cute and made our day in the field that much more pleasant.

Horny Toad Found While Doing Vegetation Monitoring

Photo from “Above the Rim” Near Our Allotment

I look forward to the weeks ahead in the field. Fingers-crossed we don’t get stuck or have a flat tire anytime soon!

Until next time,

– James Noyama
Bureau of Land Management – Lander Field Office                                                 Lander, Wyoming

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