Field Season is Here

Spring has begun in Minnesota and that means field season is officially here! My April started off with the Superior National Forest “water resources team” meeting, where we discussed and coordinated the work plan for this year.

My first field project this season is to check on the riparian plantings that have been done in previous years to see if any work needs to be done on them, such as removing the protective cones and clearing brush. From this, I am creating monitoring reports and we are making a work plan for a Conservation Corps crew that will come in May. The Conservation Corps is a national nonprofit program for young people that gets their foot in the door for a  career in natural resources. They are regional crews that go around doing manual labor on public lands in the summer, on projects where you need a lot of hands, usually clearing and building. Quite a few of my co-workers have done this as one of their first jobs out of college, and it led them to getting their current job.

SNF Water Resources Team meeting
Riparian planting - the cones protect the seedlings from browsing

It’s been really lovely to see the changes of spring. The forest is waking up and looking brighter. The moss is growing, and the princess pine. The buds are coming out on the trees, little leaves are poking out of the ground. And the streams sure are rushing! The ice is melted off the top of the water and meltwater is coming down the watersheds, making the streams just rip. They call this “waterfall season.”

It’s also steelhead trout fishing season right now. I have gone fishing a couple times with friends for the “steelhead trout,” which is the name for the rainbow trout that come up from Lake Superior to spawn in the rivers in the first part of spring. These fish are not native, they are stocked for humans. So far, no luck, but I’m gonna keep trying! It’s still fun to just hang out by the water. That’s what I love the most about my job, being able to work outside by the water so much – it’s my happy place – and just knowing that my work is improving the water. 

Princess Pine
Reppin' EFTA!
Mistletoe Lake
Woods Creek
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