It’s a fun situation when what you’re trying to protect is being slapped in the face by the new presidential administration. That’s not sarcasm. Really. It’s been an adventure, and we’re definitely making progress! Here at the NWF-RMRC in Denver, my main project is working on public land protection and energy development mitigation with the Dept. of the Interior and the BLM.
Of course, as the intern (or “Project Assistant” which is my actual title), I’m learning so much here because I’m working on so many different projects. From big horn sheep habitat conservation in the foothills to philanthropy event-coordinating at extravagant mansions near downtown Denver to working early childhood conferences and sportsmen expos, I’m pulled in all different directions, and it’s a blast.
My main project, however, is what is most important to me. I started out contacting agency officials to sign a letter I assisted in writing to the new Secretary of the Interior Zinke with the goal to keep leasing reforms in place from 2010 concerning energy development on public lands (which is an entirely new concept to me, having grown up in Texas where the majority of the land is privately owned). These reforms, as some of you will find out in my presentation at the end of the semester, require deeper looks into environmental protection concerns on lands that are being considered for oil and gas development.
My next step, and what I’m really excited about (and why I don’t have any pictures to post yet), is in the beginning of April, I get to go out to South Park, Colorado, speak to businesses, hike in the beautiful Rocky Mountains, and possibly learn to fly fish ALL as a part of my business outreach for the project. Not a bad gig, right?
Anyway, that is pretty much all as of right now that I’m allowed to post concerning my work with the NWF.
Oh, and one more thing: the best thing about Colorado is definitely the beer. 🙂