INTERSHIP: Forestry with the US Forest Service
Dear IFSA World,
my name is Jonas Sitte and I am studying International Forest Ecosystem Management at the University for Sustainable Development in Eberswalde, Germany. During my studies it was mandatory for me to do an internship abroad with an organization and in a country of my choice.
I have chosen the US Forest Service as my internship partner and got in contact with a supervisory forestry of the Klamath National Forest in Northern California through another student at my university. After introducing him into my plans and wishes to conduct my internship as a forestry trainee on the Klamath National Forest he was very supportive and forwarded me to all the responsible authorities who helped me through all the paperwork and organization of my internship and working visa.
My internship took place over 5 months from the end of August 2019 to the end of January 2020 at the Happy Camp / Oak Knoll Ranger District in the middle of the National Forest. During the internship I was working for most of the time with the Timber Crew, whose task are forest stand examinations and timber cruising, timber sale preparations like tracking logging unit boundaries and marking trees and the inspection of harvest and slashing contractors. Furthermore, we cleared forest roads from windfallen trees and rockfall, executed regeneration surveys and looked for sugar pine trees with cones that were indicated to be resistant against the five-needle pine blister rust disease.
The most special highlights of my internship have been the sights of the wildlife like black bears, cougars or bobcats through my work with the wildlife biologists and their game cameras or during our daily patrols through the forest. Also, my visits of the huge redwood forests on the coast have been very impressing. Additionally, I’ve got some insights into the work of the fire fighter crews of the Forest Service and their task to burn slash piles after harvesting events as a method of wildfire control and prevention.
Besides some challenges for myself in this new environment I’ve really enjoyed my experiences in such a remote place like Happy Camp and the time I’ve had with the local people and my co-workers. If you have more questions about this internship feel free to contact me!