Douglas “Mitch” Bayles

Douglas “Mitch” Bayles

Cedar City Field Office, Utah

The IIC is pleased to introduce Douglas Mitch Bayles as one of the five BLM Direct Hire Range Management Interns for 2015.  He is currently stationed at the BLM Field Office in Cedar City, Utah.

Douglas was raised in Parowan, Utah. He grew up hunting, fishing, farming, and spending his free time enjoying the diverse landscapes surrounding the region. This early exposure to the natural environment has sculpted Douglass into an outdoor enthusiast, and guided him towards a rangeland management career path. He found his niche and passion in being a better steward of the land learning innovative strategies to manage the land for multiple uses. Douglas is committed to practicing sound land management strategies that will not only sustain the health of the resource, but also make a difference for his family, the general public, and all future generations of land users.

Douglass graduated from Southern Utah University in May 2014 with a major in Agricultural Science. Throughout Douglass’s college education, he was an active member of the Southern Utah University Range Club and the Society of Rangeland Management. He attended and participated in multiple conferences competing against other students in plant identification and the Undergraduate Rangeland Management Exam (URME).

Prior to this current internship program, Douglass was a Range Technician intern for the Cedar City BLM office. Here he learned to collect and compile long term nested frequency data in key management areas. He maintained riparian ex-closures; assisted collecting rangeland health data; attended trainings for Multiple Indicator Monitoring (MIM); and Proper Functioning Condition (PFC); and gained experience working on interdisciplinary data collection teams.

This Rangeland Management Direct Hire Authority internship is the next phase of professional training and experience that will lead Douglas towards the career he has set out to achieve.

Direct Hire Authority comes to the IIC

IIC Direct to BLM

The IIC has been awarded a long-term contract with the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) under the Direct Hire Authority  Resource Assistant Internship Program.

The BLM Resource Assistant Internship Program is a competitive and rigorous project-based internship that runs for at least 11 weeks. The target participants for the program are current college students or recent college graduates. The internship is an career-building opportunity to bring new and diverse viewpoints to the BLM.  Upon successful completion, the intern may be eligible for the Resource Assistant Direct Hire Authority, a direct springboard into a career with the Bureau.

Visit our “BLM Direct” page for more information about the DHA and details about our 2015 Positions.

Public Lands Employment Day 2015

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We want to welcome everyone to the 2015 Public Lands Employment Day, you don’t want to miss this event!  There will be representatives from all of our partners looking to hire students for paid summer internships.  Bring a resume and some questions for each of them.  They respond well to people who show enthusiasm and interest.  Try to do some research before you come, it will make you a better candidate.  Above all, come with a willingness to learn and to talk to people.  There’s something for everybody at the IIC.

Wild Whitmore

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“Let’s find a way to make this a game” is one of the first things I ever heard David Whitmore say.  When he steps onto a mountain (or a river, or bike trail, or climbing route for that matter) you can see his eyes light up.  He always has a smile and is ready to have fun in the outdoors.  The Outdoor Recreation in Parks and Tourism major is from Richfield, UT and has a way of making everything fun but at the same time educational.  David is the Wilderness educator for the Outdoor Engagement Center at SUU.  His position was created to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Wilderness Act.

“I had a blast, it was a lot of work.  I was doing things I didn’t really know how to do coming into it, but figuring them out and then implementing them was really rewarding,”  Whitmore said.  “I’ve had to learn a lot about graphic design, computer design, web design.  I’ve had to learn to network and communicate with people from the school level clear on up to Chris Barns who is a national representative at the Carhart Center for the BLM.  I’ve learned to do interesting things from creating vegan menus to creating links on web pages to everything in between.”

This is his third season with the IIC, he’s done some maintenance and trail work for Cedar Breaks, Kanab, and Pine Valley in some of his past internships.  He told me this internship was a little different.

“I’ve been in an office at a computer doing emails and very little physical work and a lot of mental work.  This internship has been good because it’s filled in a lot of the gaps where I didn’t have any experience at all.  I could build a trail and work outside all day long but I was scared to death to write an email to an important person.  So I’ve been grateful for this internship because of the skills it has taught me.”

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Whitmore put on a 5k run and walk called Run Wild as part of his internship.  The event had agency representatives with tables, barbecued hot dogs, fire building stations, and other fun things besides the run.  He told me if he could, he wishes he could do it again.  Because of all the things he’s learned through his experience he feels like he could do a better job, but he’s pleased with the way it has turned out.  He is putting on a forum for Wilderness education on November 5-7 with corresponding activities throughout each of those days.  He is constantly trying to get across the idea to celebrate the idea of Wilderness, no matter their background.

Because of his willingness to adapt and improve, he has been one of the most successful IIC interns to date.  Many agencies already ask for him by name.  He says anyone can have the same chances as he’s been given.  “There’re opportunities out there to get experience where you need experience.  If you’ll be diligent at finding those internships and then when you get them, if you’ll do your best to do a good job at those internships, it can provide experience that will serve you for the rest of your life, no matter what career you choose to go into.”

The future is bright for this bright-eyed guy from Southern Utah.  Begin your journey through an IIC internship!

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Wild Horses

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Dust covered and stout were the first things I noticed.  His accent was also hard to miss.  Rowdy Walch talked with me about his job as Range Tech overseeing wild horses. Wild mustangs roam the desert surrounding Enterprise (the small town where Walch is from).  The Forest Service, in partnership with the BLM, is charged with managing and studying their movement.  He’s no stranger to the hills he works in.  He’s grown up searching the hills for wild horses, now he’s getting paid for it.

Wild Horses

“I always have enjoyed working outdoors,” Walch says.  “It’s something worth doing.”  Though he’s been working with the Forest Service for several years, he has started attending SUU to get the education needed to secure a full time position with the agency.  His internship through the IIC provides an opportunity to delve even deeper into his goals.

“It’s a really good deal, it helps me get through school, it gives me a job and it looks really good when you’re looking for employment.  It comes from a credible source, with the University backing it.” Walch said.

He drives a Forest Service truck around the large area that is Dixie National Forest.  Though he stays close to Enterprise and the Pine Valley area, they have him scout out back roads and canyons looking for horses.  As we rode together on one of these rocky roads, he told me about the balance he hopes other land agencies can achieve through their management.  Growing up on a farm himself, he sees things from both the rancher’s and public land’s perspective in dealing with variables like wild horses.  The land, he told me, is supposed to be dealt with responsibly from all directions.  He said his mentors have helped him learn that balance.  “I’d say probably the most valuable is teaching the hands on.  That kind of makes everything come together.  You get to learn the ropes a lot better than you do learning in a classroom.”

We found some wild horses, but the wind wasn’t in our favor.  They ran from us once they caught our scent.  He said he’s seen the herd before and they’ll be back where he can get a better look at them.  He seems to love his job, working hard, exploring the countryside he loves so well, and looking after the mustangs his family taught him to admire.

“It’s been a good summer, being out all the time and it’s just a good job, that’s all there is to it.”  Walch says, “Everything from working with the ranchers, getting on the ground doing that type of stuff, to the management side, to the wild horse and burro program.  It’s just great all the way around.”

His internship fits him perfectly for everything from his major to where he grew up.  With hundreds of internships like this, it’s no wonder the IIC is an award winning program allowing students to pursue careers and passions.

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