A River’s Off-Season

While working on the Middle Fork of the Salmon, I was no stranger to paperwork and the manual labor adjacent to it. There was a schedule that typically went unchanged daily but had the flexibility to keep me on my if I so chose. There were always chores, yard work, and winter prep that could be started. The mornings were filled with information needed to be supplied to boaters such as weather for the week of their trip, river levels/ speed, and Leave No Trace Talks. The biggest positive of all this was the clearly the setting. People worldwide would flock to the Middle Fork of the Salmon for some of the best-rated white water rafting in the country.

These days I no longer must worry about river blowouts, emergency plane landings on my airstrip, 12-hour days because of summer storms, or if deer will try and enter my cabin during the day if I didn’t close the cabin door properly. I am not complaining, but life has become more simple, and I now dodge many fewer curveballs. My position has shifted from a boots-on-the-ground river ranger to a 9-5 desk job. It was a bit of a shock to me because I had never worked anything close to a desk job before this position.

I have had many different work environments throughout all my jobs, but this one is the most jarring. I currently work a hybrid schedule. Daily interactions consist of hanging out with my new coworkers (my 3 dogs) and Zoom meetings throughout the week. The many changes in my RAP position have given me experience in multiple jobs in the Forest Service.

I feel that even though I have not experienced every role that the Forest Service has to offer, I am certainly leaps and bounds from where I was. I am taking everything I have learned, both good and bad, and currently using those experiences to help me figure out what I truly want to find in the Forest Service. Meeting and engaging with so many foresters, present and past, has shown me how much passion and care exists in the Forest Service.

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