Photo taken of an area located on the Ashley National ForestVolunteers are the heartbeat of the Forest Service. The types of work a volunteer can perform are many and varied. Find more information about volunteering at the US Forest Service Volunteering web site.

Volunteers donate thousands of hours each year to our wilderness and trails programs. With decreasing budgets and increasing workloads, we depend more and more on volunteers to assist our wilderness rangers and trail crews in the High Uintas Wilderness. There are fun and challenging volunteer opportunities available each summer for people who want to work for a good cause. The work requirements for these opportunities vary greatly, but we can usually match individual interests and skills with work that needs to be done.

Volunteer Opportunities

There are three types of volunteer opportunities: seasonal, project, and independent. Seasonal opportunities require a commitment of the entire field season, usually June through August. Seasonal volunteers become full-time members of our wilderness or trail crews and are recruited and trained much like employees. Project opportunities require a short-term commitment to a specific agency project, such as a trail construction or rehabilitation project. These are popular with organized groups, such as the Backcountry Horsemen of America, the Boy Scouts of America, or other organizations, but anyone may participate. Independent opportunities also require a short-term commitment to a specific project but are very limited in scope and do not require Forest Service oversight. These are volunteer-proposed and are popular with Boy Scouts or others who wish to complete service projects.

Seasonal Opportunities

  • Assistant Animal Packer
  • Trail Crew
  • Wilderness Ranger
  • Wilderness Info Specialist (Trailhead Host)

Project Opportunities

  • Trail Construction or Maintenance Projects
  • Cleanup & Restoration Projects
  • Wilderness Monitoring Projects
  • Data Entry
  • Educational Outreach Programs
  • Equipment & Material Transport (w/Stock)


Independent Opportunities

  • Boy Scout Service Projects
  • Other Volunteer-Proposed Service Projects

In some cases, temporary housing, a modest daily stipend, and/or vehicle mileage may be available to volunteers, particularly to those recruited for the field season. In most cases, the Forest Service will provide equipment, supplies, and training. We are pleased to cooperate with colleges and universities on student internships or work experience programs, upon request.

To view and apply for advertised volunteer positions, visit Volunteer.Gov. This website is the nationwide clearinghouse for all opportunities advertised by all four Federal land management agencies, as well as other Federal agencies.

Work Requirements

Unfortunately, it’s not as easy to volunteer as it once was. Certain requirements are necessary to protect both volunteers and the Forest Service. All volunteers must sign a volunteer agreement to perform any work for the Forest Service. Work completed on the National Forest without such an agreement is a violation of agency policy and exposes the volunteer to possible penalties under Federal law and the Forest Service to administrative sanctions. The agreement also protects the volunteer in the event of a work-related injury. Minors are subject to limitations, under Utah labor laws, and must have the signature of a parent or guardian.

All volunteers are also required to have Forest Service training and wear personal protective equipment (PPE) necessary to perform certain types of work. This varies greatly with the work being performed. Volunteers that are using chainsaws or crosscut saws, for example, must be certified by the Forest Service to do so and have the proper PPE. Safety is always first!

Much of the work we do is physically demanding. Some volunteers may be asked to pass a work capacity test, submit a doctor’s note, or provide other proof of fitness. Heavy lifting, hiking long distances, working with stock, rugged terrain, high altitude, and extreme weather all present challenges. Other work may require computer, visual arts, writing, teaching, carpentry, or other skills.

Key Contacts

Jeffrey A. Rust