This month has flown by! I cannot believe it’s almost September. Everyone in the field office has been extremely busy. This field season has been very short due to the heavy snowpack and wet spring, so we are trying to get as much work done as possible. It has also been very dry here in Missoula, MT and fire season is well on it’s way.
We have been splitting our days doing rangeland health and habitat typing. I knew nothing about either subject before this internship. I never thought I would know so much about cows or grazing. Through the process we have been able to do compliance and utilization reports on grazing allotments. We make sure that the leasee is in compliance with the grazing rights and is not over-grazing the area. We walk the allotments looking for cows, salt blocks, water troughs and making sure the fences are in good condition. I can say that I will never look at a pasture the same way…
Habitat typing has been a great learning experience as well. We have been working in an area that is very diverse and has some of the most beautiful meadows that I have ever seen. We are doing this to assess the timber stands in this area. We do this for several reasons; for watershed quality, timber stand improvement and sales, and to know how the area is being affected by the beatle kill. Through the habitat typing I have been able to learn many more native forest plants of Montana and use many new forestry tools.
I look forward to the next two and a half months here at the BLM and I am eager to learn as much as I can from my co-workers.