The past 6 months working as an intern for UCCE in Alturas have been a blur of summer and snow, grass and soil, wild horses and livestock, and small-town agriculture. When I stepped into this community two days after college graduation in June, I immediately fell in love with all that Modoc County has to offer. From the beauty of the Warner Mountains to the ruggedness of the Devil’s Garden, it has been amazing to be able to live and work in such a diverse area.
This internship provided a huge variety of experiences, connections, and educational opportunities with various agencies.
One of the most notable experiences was assisting the Modoc National Forest with the 2019 wild horse gather, allowing a view behind the scenes of the wild horse issues and gather operation. I also assisted the Forest Service with annual fall rangeland monitoring data collection. Over the summer I helped other agencies including USFWS and Cal Deer, learning about wildlife projects related to goshawks and beavers. Other projects I assisted with included a UCCE irrigated meadow study and a groundwater management project. All these projects allowed me to learn about new aspects of natural resource management.
My favorite days of the internship were when we took horses on an overnight trip to the Emerson Allotment of the Warner mountains to collect rangeland data. We spent the night at Patterson Lake, and the views and wildflowers were amazing. Another of my favorite projects was a study we did comparing two springs on the Devil’s Garden, one being grazed by wild horses and one being grazed by cattle. I made a poster highlighting this project and displayed it at the California Cattlemen’s Convention in Reno, and will also present it at the Society for Range Management meeting in Denver in February.
The internship was not all work, however. I appreciated the educational aspect as well by attending workshops of a wide range of topics. These included prescribed fire, BLM wild horses, and beef cattle reproduction. I really enjoyed the atmosphere of this internship and the efforts of everyone I worked with to make it a learning experience. I feel that it has been a great asset toward being successful in the agriculture industry in the future, and it was an experience I will take with me wherever I go.