Volunteers are the Heartbeat of the Forest Service

The US Forest Service Volunteer Program has something for almost everyone: youth, people of all abilities, retirees, professionals, homemakers, students, as well as service clubs, organizations, and more.

Becoming a volunteer?

If you enjoy connecting with other community members and care about our country's natural resources, the Forest Service needs your time and talents.

Volunteers contribute in many different capacities, some work full-time for several months, some donate a few hours each week, and others participate in single day activities, such as garbage clean ups. On occasion, opportunities arise for student volunteers to earn college credits through a college-approved internship program, or to become familiar with Forest Service activities and philosophy. Many individuals have found their volunteer experience has guided them towards job interest and possible careers. Retirees or others with skills to share often find that a volunteer position provides them with a nice change of pace.

The national forests, grasslands, and prairies are there for you to enjoy because many people have served over numerous years to preserve, protect and improve them.

Now is your chance to give something back by volunteering.

Volunteer for a National Forest Near You! 

Find a National Forest near you in the drop down box below for ways to join us in “caring for the land and serving the people”.  


Inyo Mono County Master Gardener Volunteers with the Sierra National Forest stand in a group

Inyo Mono County Master Gardener Volunteers with the Sierra National Forest          

Getting Started as a Volunteer

There are many opportunities to volunteer with the Forest Service or with a partner organization that works with us. The first step is deciding what you want to do, where you want to be, and what kind of time commitment you’re able to make. If you are looking for a volunteer opportunity with less of a time commitment, such as a single event, we recommend you contact your local national forest or look into volunteering with a Forest Service partner. If you are looking for a full-time, service learning, or longer-term volunteer opportunity, please contact your regional volunteer coordinator.

Many volunteer opportunities are listed on Volunteer.gov, America’s natural and cultural resources volunteer portal. It lists volunteer positions open by all federal and some state land management agencies across the country. Just apply on volunteer.gov and your information will be provided to the appropriate Forest Service contact. Available opportunities change frequently throughout the year, so visit often.

The Forest Service works with hundreds of partner organizations to care for the land and serve people. Many times, these partner organizations and their volunteers are able to accomplish specific tasks that might not otherwise be completed. Often, these organizations also offer specialized training and experiences. Consider volunteering with one of our many partners. Some of the partner organizations that work with the Forest Service can be found at USFS Partnerships, but be sure to check with the forest nearest you for a list of partner organizations in your community. 

If you are interested in volunteering directly with your local forest you can write or call the volunteer coordinator at your nearest local forest office for information and a volunteer application.

Tuolumne River Trust Volunteers with the Stanislaus National Forest stand in a group together

Tuolumne River Trust Volunteers with the Stanislaus National Forest