VetsWork: A Successful First Month

My first month of being part of the VetsWork program with the Mt. Adams Institute has been a great experience. The first week was member orientation, which was at the Menucha Retreat Center in Corbett, OR. This was a good way to meet the other VetsWork members. After we finished the meet and greet introductions for everyone, we had discussions about what we expected and what was expected from us during our time of service. While in our orientation week, we went for a short hike at Multnomah Falls and took part in a service project at the Mt. Hood Community College. Later in the week, Mt. Adams Institute had our site supervisors come to the Menucha Retreat Center to meet and discuss a general work plan for the upcoming year. At this point my work supervisor for the U. S. Forest Service told me that I would work with several different groups within his District Office. This would give me experience in different areas and help me build a resume to ultimately obtain a full time position working in the Forest Service.

Multnomah Falls hike during orientation week.

In my first month of the VetsWork program, I have been working on gaining a better understanding of the history of the Deschutes National Forest. I have learned a lot reading background material on the historical and current forest landscapes, fire and weather disturbances, biotic and abiotic processes, restoration of stressed sites, and sustainable ecosystem management of eastern Oregon and Washington. I have gotten out in the field snowmobiling, snowshoeing, and performing silviculture surveying of tree sites.

Snowmobiling in the Deschutes National Forest.

Lately, I have been working at the Clarno Hardwood Production Beds harvesting whips to be utilized as live stakes for direct planting.

Pruning whips at the Clarno Hardwood Production Facility.

I started off not sure of what to expect and a little apprehensive but feel much better about what I am doing at this point in the program.