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News.bytesNews.bytes Extra, issue 392

Getting out into the field

When people think of the BLM and its mission, what may come to mind is field work among wild horses, recreation sites, oil wells, plants, animals, archaeological sites and more.  But as a number of new employees have discovered, land management takes a lot of office work: reviewing permit applications, preparing environmental documents, replying to correspondence, updating web pages and much more. The BLM personnel busy with these office tasks may not get out into the field very often.  To help remedy this situation, several BLM-California volunteers, new interns and employees headed out to Cosumnes River Preserve, to learn first-hand about some land management issues and solutions. (text continued below)

Mark Ackerman, BLM-California wildlife biologist with the Cosumnes River Preserve, discusses some of the issues facing the partners at the Cosumnes River Preserve.  The BLM is one of nine partners in the Preserve.

“We wanted to show them what we do, not just talk about it,” said Karen Montgomery, a realty specialist with BLM-California's State Office.  “We spent a few hours on the Preserve, so they could see some real on-the-ground work.”

The group included Dan Ryan, Brandon Anderson, Timothy Wing and Dan Krekelberg, recently brought on board in the Federal Career Intern Program and profiled earlier in BLM-California News.bytes; environmental protection specialist Erin Dreyfuss, who arrived in the BLM-California State Office two weeks ago from the El Centro Field Office; Zack Graves, a student working under the Temporary Employment Program Student, and Lauren Szlosek, a part-time summer volunteer -- both working in BLM-California's External Affairs Office.

Egrets with wings outspread land in an area of water amid the grassland
Egrets take flight from a wetlands near the Visitors' Center. The Cosumnes River Preserve is an important stop on the Pacific Flyway, and more than 250 species of birds have been spotted in the area.  The wetlands are managed to benefit wildlife, including the Swainson's hawk, greater and lesser sandhill cranes, Canada geese and numerous ducks. (photo by Erin Dreyfuss, BLM)

The group looks at plant debris along a muddy flow of water
The group looks over an area alongside a slough, where beaver activity presents a challenge.

Hikers look down into the muddy slough
Unidentified activity in the muddy water of the slough, gets the attention of the group

A hand holds a wild turkey feather
A wild turkey had left behind evidence of its presence.

A person in a kayak is just partially visible behind dried grasses and reeds
A kayaker appears to be making his way through dried plants, just visible to the group as they make their away along a trail in the 100-degree weather.

Mark Ackerman points out a nearby stand of trees to the group
Ackerman points out an area where the Cosumnes River's annual overflow has "planted" valley oak trees.  The Cosumnes River Preserve is home to California's largest valley oak riparian forest.

a beetle sits on a person's fingertip
Small things: a blue milkweed beetle (also known as a cobalt milkweed beetle) sits on the fingertip of one of the field trip participants (photo by Erin Dreyfuss, BLM)

- G.Szlosek, BLM-California state office, 7/18/09

BLM-California News.bytes, issue 392

Last updated: 07-23-2009