David Kemp, Wildlife Biologist for the Judith-Musselshell Ranger District of the Helena-Lewis and Clark National Forest approached the Great Falls Chapter SCI about funding a Cooperative Wildlife Student Internship using a student studying Biology at the University of Providence. We voted to move ahead with this challenging internship opportunity for a local collegiate-level aspiring wildlife professional. In cooperation with the Judith-Musselshell Ranger District of the Helena-Lewis and Clark National Forest, an upper-level wildlife ecology undergraduate student spent the summer acquiring hands-on practical experience in the fields of wildlife biology and wildlife habitat management across Central Montana. The primary focus of the internship was to initiate work on the Spring Coulee bighorn sheep habitat improvement project in the Little Belt Mountains near Dry Wolf Creek, with the goal of improving habitat on National Forest lands for bighorn sheep. The intern, Tucker Zuhoski, now a senior at UP, spent weeks surveying for bighorn sheep, learning their habitat, and preparing the project for implementation. Work to improve sheep habitat began on August 10, 2020 and will proceed through the Fall.
Additionally, Mr. Zuhoski surveyed for harlequin ducks in the wild Badger-Two Medicine area of the Rocky Mountain Front, maintained riparian habitat improvements for moose in the Little Belts, maintained wildlife water developments in the Little Belts, Big Snowies, and Little Snowy Mountains where public land surface water is scarce, participated in a state-wide bat population survey, monitored big game migration corridors on the Rocky Mountain Front (see photo), and sprayed weeds to maintain wild turkey and mule deer habitat in the Little Belts.
David Kemp stated the following about Tucker Zuhoski “He has been working hard, showing up on time, and has met all of my expectations.” Mr. Zuhoski hopes to use this summer experience as part of a graduate school application and resume to advance his wildlife education.