Fall Retreat with the National Partnership Office

As a RAP intern for the Washington DC office National Partnership Office, I participated in the autumn site visit in Reno NV. Since starting this internship, I have been working for State Private and Tribal Forestry’s BIL/IRA Team. That stands for Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and Inflation Reduction Act – two monumental bills that passed recently and gave the Forest Service billions in funding. What this means is that I generally don’t interact with the BIL/IRA team working for the National Forest System who operate within the National Partnership Office. However, I’m still a part of the team and this invitation to the site visit reminded me of that!

The BIL/IRA team (though two RAs are missing from this particular photo). Lake Tahoe is behind us.

Wonderful Scenery

This was a great opportunity to mingle with the National Partnership Office. Getting to know everyone, meeting the whole team in person, and seeing my fellow RAs again was a welcome respite from remote work. I was lucky enough to be close enough to Reno to drive and enjoyed the scenery on the way out there. We had more opportunities for great scenery on our site visit to the Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest. It’s a beautiful high desert zone that I would later re-visit for a short hike. What was most stunning was the drive to Tahoe Meadows as we climbed up the peak of a hill and caught a gorgeous view of Lake Tahoe. Here we listened to Forest Service partners give speeches on all the work they’ve been accomplishing by working with other organizations such as the Washoe tribe and Lake Tahoe Conservancy.

Lake Tahoe on a clear day with trees all below us. And to the right we can see California despite this photo being taken in Nevada.

Team Building

Back at the hotel, we all participated in group activities to build up the team. My favorite was the rock, paper, scissors competition – which I lost immediately- but was great fun, nonetheless. We also got to listen to other partners including Black Outside which most of the office agreed gave a fantastic presentation. It was really heartening for me to hear that the Forest Service were great partners for them. After our day of work, we got to check out the Whitney Peak Hotel’s rock-climbing wall! It’s an incredibly tall rock-climbing wall stuck to the side of the building starting on the second floor. As employees scaled the building, those of us on the second-floor platform looked down at the street level to the pedestrians stopping on their walk to gasp and point. It was a great way to cap off the site visit!

The terrifyingly tall rock climbing wall! It starts on a platform on the second floor of the Whitney Peak Hotel and goes up 70 feet.
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