Last week at work came with a whole new set of experiences once again.
To begin the week, my partner and I, along with another intern group, went to layout stream buffers in an area that will be harvested soon. It is important to leave plenty of trees along the stream in the forest, especially if they pass fish at times of the year. For the larger part, we left 70 feet of trees on both sides of the creek, and the smaller part with less water only required 50 feet on each side.
After we laid out the stream buffers, we cruised the unit in order to get an estimate of the value of the timber in the area.
On Thursday, we were given another unique experience involving more forest engineering. We went out to look at a new bridge that Starker is having installed on one of their properties. The previous bridge at the site was an old railcar bridge, and the call was made to replace it because of its age and to improve the fish passage in the area.
While we were there, we watched a contractor build the roadbed all the way up to the bridge. One thing unique about this bridge is that the top is not concrete, like many forest bridges. Instead, it was riveted steel was covered in gravel. This allows trucks to drive easier without having to transition on and off of concrete, as well as preventing water from building up on top of the bridge. We got to watch the first truckload of gravel get dumped on the bridge and spread.
We also got to deliver some 6-foot diameter culvert pipe for another project just down the road. These pipes are going to be replacing some old concrete culverts in order to improve water flow capacity and fish passage in the creek.
We spent some time looking over the engineering plans the project manager had on hand for both the bridge and culvert projects.
Being able to see more forest engineering work this week was great and has once again allowed me to see more of what my future will hold.