Kevin Kunkel, BLM New Mexico Intern
"This summer, I had a very unique opportunity with the Bureau of Land Management in Farmington, New Mexico. As a member of the Range Management team, my task was to assess the community grazing allotments our office overseas in the Eastern Navajo Agency of Northwestern New Mexico.
Not knowing anything about community grazing, the Navajo Nation and the interagency workings between the U.S. Bureau of Land Management, the U.S. Bureau of Indian Affairs and the Navajo Nation, I jumped into my internship feet first. Throughout this summer, I traveled the allotments daily; assessed grazing use areas for delineations, water wells, feral horses and mapped their
locations. Coming from California, I’ve had some experience with feral horses. However, my experience in California did not prepare me for the sheer number of feral horses running the range on the Colorado Plateau.
My favorite part of my experience with the BLM and the aspect I am most proud of is my day to day workings with the Navajo. Every day that I was in the field, I met someone new, ate local home-made food at food sales out in the middle of nowhere, met with Navajo ranchers while they were out checking their cows and had multiple conversations with people out living in the areas that I was working in.
Learning about the Navajo and their traditional ways is definitely the highlight of my summer,
along with the opportunity to work at such a great office with a solid leadership team that provided all of the tools and support that I needed to be successful in my tasks.
I am appreciate and very thankful for the opportunity to intern with the Bureau of Land Management under the Direct Hire Authority program and the Southern Utah University, Intergovernmental Internship Cooperative. My experience with both organizations has been amazing. My experience interning with the BLM in Farmington New Mexico, has been life changing.
I look forward to a long career with the Department of the Interior, hopefully with the Bureau of Land Management.
-Kevin Kunkel, BLM New Mexico Intern