The past five months has been defined by an amazing assortment of experiences. I have participated in so many fun and stimulating activities, ranging from participating in archeological digs to compliance monitoring at Burning Man. I am still processing the Burning Man experience. It may yet take several weeks for me to fully form coherent thoughts regarding the event. Needless to say it was fun and I will never forget it. Burning Man not only was a fun experience, but also educational. The duration of my internship has mainly focused on land management activities that are centered on conservation efforts. During Burning Man I was able to witness first-hand how the BLM manages large scale recreation events on public land. I learned that it is a complicated process in which multiple organizations must participate and requires intensive coordination efforts and inter-agency cooperation. The experience emphasized for me how the BLM truly is a “multiple-use” agency.
Another use of public lands that I became quite familiar with was made possible through my work with the range department in our field office. Having helped with many range projects, I gained a wide variety of experiences with the methods used to monitor the health of land used for grazing. The reality of management for ranchers and cattle grazing became very clear during these experiences with the range department.
During my internship I have truly witnessed the wide range of efforts the BLM makes to manage land for sustained use for ranchers, recreationists, and the flora and fauna that inhabit them. Before I had participated in this internship, I had only a vague idea of what kind of effort is being made to protect our public lands. These experiences have given me a renewed respect for the efforts that the BLM makes. Because of this time I have developed the desire to participate in the future in making these efforts the most effective possible, so that our public lands may be managed in the best and most effective ways possible.