OK, your original post said you moved to Oregon and you meant moved from Oregon. You can't beat a PFT job in fire, that is for sure. You also were able to transfer from one FS Region to another without moving very far. I had a similar experience transferring from the Bridgeport RD in R4 to the Mammoth District in R5 and only moving 55 miles, which is only 20 miles further than the 35 mile minimum required to have the cost of a move paid for by the federal government. I enjoyed my time in Region 5 for a number of reasons. One of the best was being in a very active fire region and when you are in the region you get assignments there far more often than someone from out of region. I was also given the opportunity to serve as a on-call personnel misconduct and accident/claims investigator, both of which did not exist in the other regions I worked in (3 & 4). Much of this is due to R5 having some programs that are more complex than other regions, most especially in the public liability and litigation atmosphere of the region. The volume of interagency coordination between the BLM, NPS, CDF, California Department of Fish and Game, counties, local fire districts, and Caltrans is much higher than I experienced that I did in R3 and R4. That makes the job more interesting and fascinating. All these agencies were far more competent than those I worked with in Arizona, New Mexico, and Nevada as well, but I would bet that the difference between Oregon and California is not much.
My wife and I spent some time in the Alturas area just after 9/11. We were on a partial camping, partial motel type trip. We had planned two days in Altruras but liked the area so much that we stayed for five. We made a loop starting in Yosemite, up Highway 49, to Quincy, Greenville, Amador Lake, Lassen NP, Hat Creek, then over to Alturas, and back down 395 to home. We drove east from Cedarville out into the northwestern portion of the Great Basin. It is one of the largest areas of dark skies in the lower 48 when looking at a nighttime satellite image. I would like to get a chance to return and travel/camp all over the area. I've had a fascination with large "empty" spots on maps since my teen age years. We were looking for areas to retire to and Alturas was very attractive to both of us. If I hadn't had to retire from the FS early on a medical disability I would have liked to transfer to Cedarville to wrap up my career after more than ten years on one of the most highly visited ranger districts in the country. After the pressure and stress of Mammoth "going out to pasture" up there would have suited me well. We live in a two county region with 15 traffic lights, and found Modoc County, with no traffic lights to be our kind of place.
Like many rural areas, the volume of radio traffic in Modoc County is low. However, there is an increased chance that you either know the people needing public services or know many of the public service employees responding, making the traffic more important, and it removes the mere entertainment aspect of scanner listening. When you work for the Forest Service in such areas you have the opportunity and need to listen to other agencies because what affects on agency often affects one or more of the others. I can't imagine being on the Angeles and trying to listen to the L.A. County Fire Department dispatch channel for any calls that might need Forest Service involvement, let alone trying to listen to the LASD too. A different world from what I grew accustomed to.
When we traveled through I believe that the Altruras PD was dispatched by the county on the Sheriff's frequency. I picked up some traffic from the National Wildlife Refuge south of town, the BLM, the Modoc NF, Caltrans, and CHP. If we had moved there I would imagine I would have listened to the railroad as well, I do remember seeing some tracks paralleling 395 just south of town, or is my memory not correct on this point? I seem to remember that the Modoc and Freemont had a 400 MHz fixed station "intercom" between their communications centers. It only needed one link site, which I think was located in the northwestern area of the Warner Mountain RD. I believe that Lava Beds and the California portion of the Klamath NWR were dispatched by the Modoc. It would be interesting to be hooked up to an antenna on a 40 foot or so mast or tower and a pre-amp. I wonder if Lava Beds could be received from Alturas? I think their repeater is on a relatively low mountain or hill in the northeastern portion of the monument that also has a lookout located on itso probably not. The NWR just north of there uses a repeater on Haymaker, which is blind to the Altruas area due to other mountains to its south and east.
Alturas might have a traffic light by now, there at the main intersection on the north end of town. At the time I don't think the town had any national corporation type franchises or company stores, but I think Rite-Aid has moved in since. There weren't any national fast food chains there either so you could pick up a really good burger or pizza in town. Due to the low population of the county and Alturas itself I don't think Walmart is interested in the place, so Mom and Pop businesses can survive. Wallmarts have destroyed the character of more communities than I can count. People who need to have large stores to shop at in the town they live in shouldn't move to a county like Modoc anyway. They can drive to Susanville or Lakeview if need be anyway. Susanville has all that corporate franchise crap and has the same homogenized ticky tacky appearance of big cities, something that I at least, prefer to live away from.
Good luck on the Modoc. I hope you get some choice assignments to other areas in R5 as they can be fascinating experiences.