This week LANDS teamed up with trusty FEHC (Forest Ecosystem Health Crew, pronounced “feck”) to survey for invasive plants in the South of Route 9 Integrated Research Project area located (you guessed it) south of Rt. 9, near Bennington, Vermont.
Monday, July 12
Everyone had a case of the Mondays as we congregated early to drive down to the Forest Service’s Manchester Ranger Station for some survey protocol streamlining. We met with Kate Walker and Melissa Reichert, who laid down guidelines for the week’s work. After some lunch in the sun and a tour of the facilities, we hit the road again to start our survey.
Zac showed us how to light a fire using his mind, and a couple of sticks.
Tuesday, July 13
LANDS and FEHC worked a long day surveying the majority of the area. A few of us got to know the forest intimately as we bush-wacked through the George D. Aiken wilderness area. We were happy to find few invasive plants, and none in the wilderness area.
Wednesday, July 14 (Bastille Day)
A welcome alternative to surveying in the rain, Kate Walker met us in our campground shelter to discuss our progress, methods, and the remaining work to be done. We then came to the conclusion that we could finish all of our surveying that day, and return to Burlington late that night. On our journey home, we met with Melissa Reichert at the Rutland Forest Service Office for pizza and a short debriefing.
Deanna, singing in the rain.
Thursday, July 15
Today is a short, pleasant office day in which we are regrouping, cleaning, inventorying gear, and beginning our NNIS report for the Forest Service. After some long work days, we’re looking forward to a three day weekend.