Two volunteers sweeping the nature trail at Cienega Picnic AreaVolunteers are the heartbeat of the Forest Service. The types of work a volunteer can perform are as varied and diverse as the backgrounds and abilities of those who volunteer, including conservation education, nature interpretation, trail and facility maintenance, campground hosting, and reception, just to name a few.

Your talents and skills are matched with your work preference to obtain a role that satisfies you and best fulfills the mission of the Forest Service/USDA. You may work on a part-time or full-time basis. You can participate in a one-time project or serveral projects over several months, seasons, or year-round. The commitment you make is up to you. Training may be provided to you if your job requires it. If you are retired or have summers free, you may wish to live on a National Forest while you work as a volunteer.

College students may perform volunteer service related to their coursework for college credit. A variety of jobs are available if you prefer the office environment. There are also numerous opportunities to perform vigorous but satisfying physical labor outdoors. The opportunities are endless!

How Do You Apply?

To apply for volunteer work on the Cibola National Forest & National Grassland you may:

Complete the Volunteer Application and mail or email it to any of the District Offices you are interested in working with, attention Volunteer Coordinator. Or you can call any of the offices and request that an application be mailed or faxed to you.  Do you have a Team or a Pack?  Sign them up with the Group Volunteer Application.

Why Volunteer?

Stewardship of the national forests is everyone's responsibility. The national forests and grasslands are there for you to enjoy because many people have served over numerous years to preserve, protect and improve them. Now you can give something back by volunteering. Your services are much needed because the Forest Service, like other government agencies, has a limited budget.

But volunteering isn't just beneficial for the forests, it benefits you. Simply put, it's fun! It can give you the opportunity to pursue a special interest, such as bird watching or hiking. It has the potential to enrich and improve your life. Spending time in the outdoors, enjoying the company of your fellow volunteers and visitors, can give you a new perspective on other facets of your life.

What Can I Do?

Some typical volunteer activities include:

  • Maintaining and hosting campgrounds
  • Building and maintaining trails
  • Answering phones and greeting visitors
  • Working with computers
  • Providing website content
  • Taking photographs
  • Planting trees and seeding damaged areas
  • Presenting environmental education programs
  • Building and repairing fences, picnic tables, and other structures
  • Building barrier-free campsites
  • Restoring areas damaged by fire
  • Assisting scientific researchers

View past volunteering events.

Who Can Volunteer with the Forest Service?

Anyone who wants to become involved may apply! Both individuals and groups of a variety of ages, lifestyles and professions can contribute to the mission of the Forest Service.

Typical volunteers include retirees, professionals, international visitors, college students, teenagers and children. Those under the age of 18 must have written consent of their parents or guardians. Volunteers must be in good enough health to allow them to perform their duties without risk to themselves or others. A medical exam, paid for by the Federal Government, may be required for some jobs. Persons with disabilities are encouraged to volunteer.

The Forest Service encourages diversity in the volunteer work force just as it does for its paid employees. This diversity enhances the work experience and brings the Forest Service's message back to communities and people who may benefit from its mission.

Are there volunteer organizations I can join?

Yes. Joining an existing organization is good way to learn the ropes and become familiar with the volunteer community. Presently, there are two longstanding volunteer groups in the Albuquerque area.