VetsWork: “A Year of Reflection, Clarity and growth”


Brian Cummings


Maxwell Lake trail, beautiful country

This year so far has been amazing. I have had the opportunity to go on adventures I have always dreamed of doing. Thankfully, I am literally living the dream.

One of the most exciting highlights so far, I had the opportunity to reside in a Guard Station in the Lostine River Corridor on the Wallowa-Whitman National Forest for a couple months. It was a great time and setting for reflection and also close to trails.


Guard station in Lostline River Cooridor

Over the duration of this internship I’ve had a great learning experience. The last two months or so I am actually applying the skills I have learned and it’s coming together like a jigsaw puzzle. It is exciting and I can’t wait to hopefully do this permanently.


Marking boundary for Cold Canal timber sale

Over the course of the internship I have learned and have become qualified in a number of skills; wildland firefighting (Red Carded) marking trees and setting/marking boundary for timber sales in accordance of a prescription. I have even got into taking technical Pre-Cruise plots for stands for inventory purposes. Hope to keep learning and soak it up like a sponge. It is amazing how much I have learned and applied since I started this journey.


Picture of Fire school at Mt. Emily

The Wallowa-Whitman National Forest is so diverse and vast. It is mind boggling how one side of the Forest is Hells Canyon and the other corner you have an Alpine forest. I find myself extremely lucky for this opportunity.

In conclusion, I am looking forward to the rest of my adventure. Hope to gain more experience and skills to help pursue my career in Forestry. I really feel this internship has helped me with skills and finding connections that will help me achieve my goal of a career in Forest or Recreation Management. I am excited for the future and what it holds.

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VetsWork: Excited on a New Adventure

Brian Cummings

My whole life it has been always a dream of mine to work in the Forest. Finally, I am living it for a whole year. I will admit at first, I was a little hesitant because I have worked seasonal jobs which never turned into permanent positions. Consequently, you can probably see why the hesitation. Over the last couple of months since I have been in the VetsWork program. Thankfully, I have been eased and the hesitation has turned to a fire to learn and gain experience. Mt Adams Institute has given me an opportunity to jumpstart a career that once was a dream to a reality.

Blog 1 Moraine Trail above Wallowa Lake

Blog 1 Photo 2

The last few months I have been learning different things in my field. I have been learning hands on like I am an actual Forestry Technician and it’s only the beginning. My sponsor has me going to trainings and actually out in the field. If I have questions the team is eager to share their knowledge.

Blog 1 Photo 3

I am beginning to realize this could actually turn into something great for the future. I am excited and ready and eager to learn more. Also the networking with people in the field or out in the community is awesome.

Blog 1 Photo 4

Blog 1 Imnaha Canyon

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