This summer, eight Horry-Georgetown Technical College forestry and wildlife students students worked at the Blackfeet Indian Reservation in Montana with the United States Department of Interior’s Bureau of Indian Affairs.
College officials said the reservation is located just outside of Glacier National Park in Montana and provided a hands-on learning opportunity for the students.
Interns Jonathan “Myles” Hutton of Easley, William “Henry” Olano of Camden, Kevin Smith of Bethune, Nathan Stalford of Tega Cay, Jacob Webster of Florence, Jacob Painter of Edgefield, John Shaver of Little River and Tyler Wiggers of Columbia worked in pairs with tribal members and took forest inventory plots across the reservation in remote locations. The inventory plots, students said, help provide information to guide the management of the natural resources of the reservation for the next 10 to 15 years. Students recorded information on tree species, stem diameter, height, quality for products, disease and insect damage, mortality, new growth, fire occurrence and more. The students had the opportunity to see grizzly bear, black bear, buffalo, elk and moose on a daily basis.
HGTC forestry and wildlife students are required to work in an internship every summer. HGTC has had a contract with the Bureau of Indian Affairs since 2000 to provide students with internship opportunities in Montana, Wyoming, Colorado, Nebraska, South and North Dakota. Officials said some interns have returned to the area to work full-time for the bureau or other federal agencies after graduation.