Monday, June 16, 2008

Week 2: Excuse me. It’s great here.

The LANDS crew was quite busy during week 2 of the internship experience. We had a great balance of training and service that will help us all in the future work we do for the summer and the future work for a career. The topics for the week primarily covered the legal side of conservation and stewardship, but we also learned about Vermont natural communities and rich site indicators.

Monday the LANDS crew discussed what a conservation easement was and how they are prepared with Steve Libby of the VT River Conservancy who we worked with in week 1. The LANDS crew also spent part of the day getting to know the Land Trust Alliance, and their principals and practices.

Tuesday unfortunately was a short day due to the extreme weather that mostly missed Burlington and went straight for the mountains to our East. The crew had a great lesson about survey technique and basics from professional engineer Jim Sullivan.

Wednesday was a day of all learning and trying to cram information from two great individuals. In the morning the crew met with Liz Thompson author of Wetland, Woodland, Wildland at Camel’s Hump State Park. This was a highlight for many of the crew members. We hiked around a small section of a Northern Hardwood Forest in the park and Liz helped us understand why the forest looks the way it does. We covered topics such as soils, drainage, plant identification, and reading what is going on around you. The afternoon brought us back to UVM for surveying basics field work with Jim Sullivan. Jim taught us how to set up a Theodolite and how to use it for finding if a boundary line is correct or not. This was an intense session that showed us all how hard surveying must be and how precise the surveys need to be when you are dealing with someone’s property.

Thursday was Green Mountain Club day at LANDS. We met with Pete the Stewardship director for the GMC and discussed what the GMC does and how they protect the land along the trail. The day was great fun and humbling at the same time. We worked on boundary identification and signing for a conservation easement that the GMC holds on a piece of land in Johnson, Vermont. The day consisted of a bit of bushwhacking, a few unexpected surprises, the group working great, and the group struggling. In the end the crew inspected and marked half of the parcel with flagging and then followed old logging roads back to the Long Trail for a nice walk back to the van.

Friday was more boundary monitoring with the GMC this time the LANDS crew was on their own. The day went by quick because of limited field time but all four corners were found for the property and temporary flagging up so Pete can come back and paint the boundary.

The week flew by and the LANDS crew is ready for the next round. I think everyone rested well over the beautiful weekend, reenergizing themselves for another busy week.

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