2023 Land Stewards Field Note: William O’Brien 

by | Field Notes, Land Stewards, LS 2023

Six months or roughly half a year participating in this internship. At times it feels like it was more than that, at other times it feels like I just started yesterday. In terms of reflecting on this experience it is difficult, because so much happened but at the same time in my memory it all feels like a blur. If I were to summarize this whole endeavor I would start by expressing how it differed from my initial expectations. I don’t believe I was fully prepared for how many different skills I would get to develop as a result of participating in this internship beyond just backpacking and hiking. I am able to demonstrate this in all the corresponding certifications I was able to achieve through this internship which I am very thankful for. I am especially thankful for the opportunity to work and learn about Wildland Firefighting and for the chance to work with a Pack string. Other things I believe I was able to get out of this internship include a deeper understanding of how I could progress further beyond this program and other avenues I could use to develop even more skills related to the outdoors such as a NOLS course which I might pursue following the end of this internship. While I did have my fair share of personal challenges adapting to both the work and the change in my living situation, ultimately I feel this internship was successful in preparing me for a future career. I have an interest in pursuing this field as a long term job either working at the State or Federal level. I am also interested in furthering education that will lend itself to being successful in this field such as a degree associated with recreation or outdoor education. I hope to continue the path that I am on in pursuing a career in the outdoors in my home state of Colorado possibly working in the White River National Forest.