I could be sent to Purgatory (literally), other far flung regions of the state, or my life could resume without major upheaval...
Tomorrow is district assignment day and our class of 7 is interviewing for the 7 available districts with their respective bosses. There's been a bunch of upheaval in the last week, and though there are enough openings, there are some veteran officers looking to transfer into two of them.
So, here's the preference list I sent in:
Loveland - because my girlfriend has a good job in Fort Collins and I'd like to marry her. This would create the least upheaval in my life, but probably a little less fun than some of the other districts, plus a lot more public scrutiny. However, a veteran put in for this job too (from the far West Slope, way south of Montrose) so I'll have stiff competition from him and several other guys in my class. My big advantage is that I've worked for the boss there and went on FTO with one of his guys who called me up today to do a little recruiting (maybe because he was prompted to).
Breckenridge- If I'm moving and want my girlfriend to come with me, she's going to need decent job opportunities and a social life. This will give her that, plus I get to be a classic backcountry game warden in addition to public servant. Yeah, I still have to get involved with development issues and the deer hunting isn't as good some of the other places, but it's got good sheep, mountain goats, moose and elk. Plus the cost of living will turn some of the other guys off. However, a veteran I know and respect put in for this opening too.
Parachute- Lots of game damage and bear issues. Lots of oil and gas and land development issues, but a ton of wildlife and some pretty unique habitats of the Battlements and the Parachute Creek portions of the Roan Plateau. Still get some bighorn sheep in the area, and a couple moose coming out of the Grand Mesa country, but mostly a deer and elk-heavy district. Good job opportunities and plenty of friends along the I70 corridor for my girlfriend from Glennwood Springs to Grand Junction.
Kremmling- If it was just about me, this would be my number one option. Awesome deer hunting between here and the Colorado River, a couple sheep, the Blue River and the Colorado River plus two big reservoirs nearby. However, my girlfriend needs work and a chance at a social life if I'm going to uproot her and then be gone working constantly.
Craig- This district goes from Craig west to Maybell, then north to the border. Lots of game damage, lots of Ranching for Wildlife issues, difficult politics, but lots of deer and elk. Not much for public fishing though. Decent job opportunities for my girlfriend as long as no one knows she's with me.
Monte Vista- The district goes west to the Continental Divide and includes major portions of the Rio Grande River, tons of waterfowl, good elk, deer and sheep numbers, BUT.... there's the people. The San Luis Valley is not exactly a friendly place to work and has two or three times the crime rate of any other possible district.
Kim- Would stretch from east of Pritchett all the way west to Purgatoire Canyon. 2200 square miles and just 300 people. Good luck finding a place to live. Basically no fishing and difficult public hunting access. Still plenty of wildlife, but asking a girl to come with you from her friends and family in Fort Collins to a town of 60 is going to be a difficult sell.
So, some time after we interview in the morning, the brass will break for lunch and horse trading, then come in and unveil the district assignments. Because of the two veterans looking for a chance to move, there's a chance two of us aren't getting a district yet. Wherever the vets are coming from has to be announced for lateral transfers too, so it could be a few more weeks before all of the dominoes fall.
Anyway, my stomach has been in a knot for the last couple of weeks over this, but the last 12 months of training all comes down to this!