Hello MANO blog readers!
Sadly, this will be my last blog post. Through the Resource Assistants Program, I have completed 960 hours of service with the US Forest Service over the last 6 months. In that time, I met many wonderful faces, and learned a lot more than I than I thought about the Forest Service and the way its different programs support the mission of caring for the land and supporting the public. When I started this position in lands and special uses back in June, I didn’t even know what special uses meant. Now, I’ve read and digitized more than 4,000 documents from current permit applicants all the way back to legacy claims from 1911. The Forest Service was founded in 1905, and the state of New Mexico was incorporated in 1912, and I was reading letters from land owners older than both of those! I also got some hands-on experience doing things that made public land accessible and sustainability managed. For example, I helped scout and re-mark a wilderness trail that had become completely covered in downed logs after a fire, and I mapped a rural water system and its proposed developments so a small community can be assured that their spring water stays clean. I’m so grateful for the time I spent as a resource assistant and I can’t wait to start another position with the USFS after this.