My name is Brenda Ramirez and while I am in Oregon, I will be working as a Field Ranger for the US Forest Service in the Siuslaw National Forest! I arrived in Waldport where I met many kind and inspiring people from all over the country. During my internship here I will be working directly with the public as an interpreter for the different areas of the forest. As an intern for Environment for the Americas my main goal is to give the public information on shorebirds, the direct impact people have on them, and ways they can help keep these birds around for many years to come!
For the first week of training, the other interns and I were able to visit many of the diverse areas of the Siuslaw National Forest. The first stop was Cape Perpetua where we had different speakers come in and give presentations on the work they were doing with ways we could potentially become involved. Cape Perpetua is known as the area where the forest meets the sea because it is found directly on the coast. Many people come to Cape Perpetua to hike some of the trails—like the Amanda trail—or to visit the tide pools that are just a short hike away. Visitors come from all over the world and are of all ages so it is a great place to be able to work.
The second location we visited, was Marys Peak where we were hiking group leaders for the Siuslaw Middle Outdoor School. Many volunteers from the Marys Peak Alliance were available to provide information on the area for the students. Both Yselia Cortez—another EFTA intern—and I were able to lead our group to different stations where they would learn about the area that made up Marys Peak. Each stop had a unique topic that either taught about history, science, and even the watershed that Marys Peak relies on.
I was also fortunate enough to be able to practice shorebird counts with Yselia Cortez and a Lead Field Ranger named Ashton Stevenson during the week at Baker Beach. We were both very excited to see that there were some semipalmated plovers and whimbrels still in the area!
The last area we visited during the week for training was the Oregon Dunes. A volunteer was our guide around the area where she explained how the dunes formed, the unpredictability of the sand, and the positive and negative impacts of the invasive species in the area like European beach grass. We were also lucky enough to see some black bear tracks during our hike! This first week has been incredible and I am excited to see what the summer brings.