Brandon Mersich here with my 2nd blog update on the Malheur National Forest’s recreation position. The past couple of months have been super busy and full of training, see the list of all my training below if you want an idea of what you could also get during an internship like this.
In between my trainings, I have been going out with the North Fork John Day Watershed Council youth crews to help clean up the trails and log out any downed trees obstructing the paths. My favorite part of my job is when I get to scout the trails alone before we send in the youth crews. In a four-day period I was able to hike and explore over 10 miles a day in the beautiful Strawberry Wilderness. I would report estimated times of completion and the tools we would need to complete the job.
So far we have met up twice with the rest of the Pacific Northwest VetsWork cohort for quarterly trainings. Each time we get together we discuss our positions, how the internship is going, explore career development, and participate in a community service project. During this most recent visit, my group worked with a local food bank to help them out with projects on their garden. We also had a bit of fun by going whitewater rafting on the White Salmon River.
Outside of work, I have spent most of my weekends traveling between the Oregon coast and the mountains of eastern Oregon. I have had the pleasure of volunteering in the local community cleaning up trails for the 50th Anniversary of the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act and also a free fishing day for the kids. I spend most of my time hiking, tasting the local foods, and taking photographs of the beautiful landscapes. I even took a couple days off for my 29th birthday to enjoy Portland and surf near Cannon Beach, Oregon.
Back to work!