Volunteers & Partners

This toolbox represents a resource for information, contacts, and ideas to help wilderness managers get started or improve on citizen stewardship programs. It includes the topics of volunteers, partnerships, friends groups, and non-typical funding opportunities and provides examples and sources for more information. The toolbox features a paper found to be useful for both managers and partners: Components of and Barriers to Building Successful Wilderness Citizen Stewardship Programs. Toolboxes are comprehensively reviewed and updated approximately every three years, with intermittent small updates and additions in the interim. To suggest new materials for inclusion, email Lisa Ronald at lisa@wilderness.net. Date of last update: 08/01/2018.

 

Introduction

The use of ’volunteers’ has long been a part of manager’s efforts to be effective stewards of wilderness. Projects such as trail maintenance, campsite clean-up, restoration, and visitor contact have been successfully accomplished at minimal cost in many locations and much has been learned about how to work with volunteers and how to implement partnerships. More recently partnerships have been developed to provide additional resources in support of wilderness stewardship. Today, managers have an increasing need to utilize partners, volunteers, and alternative funding opportunities to both accomplish work and also to help build an awareness of the wilderness resource and its benefits. As more people become involved in helping to steward wilderness understanding appreciation and support for wilderness grows. The resources of ’volunteers’ and ’partnerships’ have become known as ’Citizen Stewardship Programs’.

Volunteers and partners interested in wilderness can make enormous personal, professional, and sometimes financial resources available to the wilderness manager. The typical ’volunteer in wilderness’ concept is evolving and many managers are utilizing people more as trained citizen stewards capable of taking on and successfully accomplishing more technical and challenging tasks. In addition to the traditional projects, volunteers are increasingly being used to help inform and educate other visitors and to monitor visitors use, campsites, trails, non-native invasive species, wildlife, water and other wilderness values can be accomplished. Often skills and interests that a volunteer has used in their own careers or other pursuits can be applied to needed wilderness management projects.

It should be recognized that volunteers and other partners are not ’free’. Wilderness managers devote many hours of time and some funding into recruitment, project planning, training and supervision, tools, and supplies, and preparation of agreements to support a successful citizen stewardship program. This is time and funding that is increasingly limited but also necessary for wilderness management and implementation in the Forest Service of the Chief’s 10-Year Wilderness Stewardship Challenge. Often the recognition of the need for spending time and funding on establishment and maintenance of volunteer programs and partnerships pays off in many ways and for many years.

This toolbox represents an online resource for information, contacts, and ideas to help wilderness managers get started or improve on citizen stewardship programs. It includes the topics of volunteers, partnerships, friends groups, and non-typical funding opportunities. Forest Service information on use of volunteers, partnerships, and agreements on the national forests, including agreement templates, guidelines, policies, volunteer organization contacts, and references, can be found on the Partnership Resource Center website. Additional resources can be found in agency manuals and handbooks (FSM 1830 Volunteers, and FSH 1509.11 Grants and Agreements Handbook). Also, check the Missoula Technology Development Center website for a Volunteer Coordinator Handbook emphasizing safety due out in the summer of 2005. Forest and regional volunteer coordinators and staff responsible for grants, agreements, challenge cost share programs, etc. should also be contacted for the latest guidelines and formats.

Resources

These links are provided to assist managers and organizations in finding information, guidelines, and funding sources for volunteer work and other partnerships. The information may be useful for those seeking volunteer help for small projects as well as those seeking to start or improve a long term citizen stewardship program for your wilderness.

Some of the links will open a general partnership or volunteer resource. Follow additional links from the home page to access wilderness specific resources.

BLM

FWS

FS

NPS

NGOs

Agreements

Overview

Forest Service information on use of volunteers, partnerships, and agreements on the national forests, including agreement templates, guidelines, policies, volunteer organization contacts, and references, can be found on the Partnership Resource Center website.

Additional resources can be found in agency manuals and handbooks (FSM 1830 Volunteers, and FSH 1509.11 Grants and Agreements Handbook).

Forest and regional volunteer coordinators and staff responsible for grants, agreements, challenge cost share programs, etc. should also be contacted for the latest guidelines and formats.

BLM Guides

Examples

Volunteer Recruitment and Training

Overview

It is imperative that adequate hazard recognition and safety analysis be incorporated into any project of program that utilizes volunteers or partners operating under an agreement. The required training and personal protective equipment must either be provided or required of the participants and some supervision and follow-up may be necessary to monitor the safe use of tools and travel methods.

The Job Hazard Analysis (JHA) process is used to identify hazards, training and equipment needs and document safe working procedures.

Job Hazards
Law Enforcement