Public Lands Stewards: Wildlife Management

by | Land Stewards

Conboy Lake is not really a lake. Mice can maneuver into the inside of cars and eat emergency ramen rations. Use one hand to catch bullfrogs. Toads breed in hordes. Bring a plank for crossing streams. And lastly, unless you’re over 50 years old, don’t even try to play the “trivial pursuit” game in the bunkhouse from the 1970’s. These are a few facets of work I’ve discovered so far here in the nearly two months since I’ve arrived. In order to appreciate a place such as this you really need to try to excel in it individually and pursue your own interests; to this end, I’ve tried whitewater kayaking, rafting, mountain biking, fishing, and the occasional outing in Trout Lake to play pool, or hood river for Ultimate Frisbee. Albeit sometimes I get sucked into the Wi-Fi at the bunkhouse and stay home all day… This job has had it’s ups and downs, one down being I was not able to get my incident qualifications card or “red card” for fires and prescribed burns, but many ups such as finding baby birds nests, going out on ATV’s and looking for trespassing cattle, and overall learning the general operation and systematic running that a wildlife refuge entails. This has all helped contribute to my understanding of how the federal government manages wildlife in these areas, and the role that individual refuge managers truly have in determining best courses of action and tasks to be completed, building upon what previous managers and others had intended. By my next blog post I hope to have learned more about the impact that communities have on these refuges, be able to roll my kayak, and also try kite boarding.