Maps, Maps, and more Maps

While much of the country is emerging from winter; Laramie, Wyoming is just hitting the wettest months of winter. Luckily, I have been told that this winter has been quite mild and dry, but I am surprised when I hear that the thaw is still over a month away. Since field season is months away, most of the Forest Service employees in Laramie are preparing to open recreation sites for the summer. Some of the improvements planned for the summer include new kiosks for each campsite and day use area. To get the kiosks printed and installed before camping season, we have been tasked to create new maps for every campsite and day use area. For the last month, the other interns and I have collaborated with Forest Service staff across Wyoming and Colorado to develop ArcGIS maps that will be included in each new kiosk for the fee areas. In order to get these kiosks ready by mid-May opening weekend, we spent most of the month of March deep in GIS crafting new graphics to ensure that forest visitors can find their way through fee areas.

A site visit was conducted in the snowy and icy mountains east of Laramie.

Outside of map making, I still was involved in ongoing recreation design projects. These projects involved collaboration with not only Forest Service employees but also stakeholders from local recreation groups. I made several site visits for various projects. Additionally, I took more time to enjoy the outdoor beauty of Wyoming. We hiked through rock formations at Vedauwoo, went cross country skiing in the Medicine Bow Range, and trekked in the Cache La Poudre Wilderness. I have had the privilege of watching herds of pronghorn sprint across the plains, groups of buffalo wander over the hills, and masses of elk cluster in the valleys. It has been satisfying to not only be working to improve local recreation areas, but to also spend my free time enjoying those outdoor recreation areas. While it is still cold and snowy, I am excited to continue enjoying the outdoors and for spring to finally come to the high plains of Wyoming.

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