During my time at the BLM, I have learned more than what I thought I would. Primarily, I have learned the many different ways that resources are managed. Whether grazing, logging, or prescribed burning is taking place, one does not realize the amount of time, paperwork, permits, inner and outer-agency collaboration, monetary, and physical resources that are needed to manage a resource. I’ve learned enough of the background behind how many different resources are managed to understand it, but still not enough to be able to explain that to people.
What I have understood more thoroughly is, how to monitor the resources before and after different managing practices that include: logging, thinning, thinning with slash piles, prescribed burning, fecon operations, grazing allotments, spruce/pine beetle monitoring, and water resource monitoring.
The 2 ways of monitoring a resource that I have learned during my time at the BLM are surveying, and photopoints. Surveying works for monitoring because it tells you what plants, animals, or other features exist in certain areas. The data collected during the surveying is put into a large database that is then accessed in the future in order to enact a project for that area. Photopoints are a way to monitor an area for changes over time. This practice is more prominent in areas that have had some kind of previous treatment. Every year or a few times a year, someone goes to these secluded areas and takes 4 pictures, one for each aspect(N,S,E,W). The pictures are lined up as close as they can be to previous pictures and through this, changes are physically seen and recorded in a visual context.