Making Friends and Building a Network

Looking back over the last six months I think the most stand-out part of all my time with the Forest Service has been the people and the connections I have made. This summer helped me to understand why people spend most of their working life with the Forest Service. I have seen so much passion and care expressed by the people I have met. By meeting all these people, I learned the appeal behind the Forest Service for others, but also, I learned how many roles exist in the Forest Service and the people who live and work those roles.

Meeting and interacting with new people have instilled in me a sense of exploring and learning about all the different facets of the Forest Service that interest me. Some of the most interesting positions I have seen are that of the River Patrol Rangers on the Middle Fork of the Salmon River. They spend 8 days in a row on either the Middle Fork or the Main Salmon Rivers. The River Rangers are a different breed of people because they live and breathe that lifestyle. They care about the river system of the Salmon with their whole hearts and their actions.

Other notable people I have met are those in outdoor education, historical education, copyright, contractor/ vendor approvals, river permitting/ administration, trail keepers, and aircraft pilots. Every single one of these people is essential to the functioning and the ability to recreate on this river system.

I had never anticipated that I would work with a federal agency, but since starting with RAP I have been very lucky to shit how passion and care is in the Forest Service. Seeing just how many opportunities exist in the Forest Service makes me excited for any potential future that may exist for me. During my time as an RA, I have spent a good portion of my time simply spending time with others who have interesting jobs and asking them questions about what they like and dislike about their positions.

Many of the people I met this summer I would now call friends and I am excited to continue seeing them and where their careers take them as well. I think I would be happy to pursue a federal career and there is something very exciting about not fully knowing what is awaiting me, both in my career itself and where in the world I’ll go


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