This week was the 4th of July. Unlike most weeks, I was given the unique opportunity to help a couple of Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Rangers enforce OHV (Off Highway Vehicle) regulations in Silverton, Colorado. Most of what BLM owns is desert areas with lots of sand and chamiso, but Silverton has a hidden treasure the BLM manages called the Alpine Loop. The Alpine Loop consists of rugged terrain that the public utilizes using ATVs and UTVs. We patrolled above 12,000 feet in elevation up on the high mountain tundra, which is very vulnerable to disturbance. While patrolling this rugged terrain I felt a sense of connection, knowing that soon I will become a BLM Ranger as well, working on the mission to protect our local resources. The 4th of July holiday wasn’t about handing out tickets and finding violations; it was a chance to reconnect with ourselves and others. It was a chance to celebrate our  independence and give a tribute to our war heroes.

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