Heartbeat of the Forest Service

Becoming a partner or volunteering on the Sequoia National Forest can be a rewarding and educational experience.

Get involved and change your world! Volunteers are the heartbeat of the Forest Service. Volunteers play a vital role in accomplishing work on the Sequoia National Forest. Much of this work deals with trail maintenance, habitat improvement projects, picking up trash along our major rivers, graffiti removal, tree planting, or repairing signs/buildings. We complete many tasks and projects due to the volunteers who serve with Forest Service employees to accomplish our goals. Think about volunteering on the Sequoia National Forest the next time you visit our website or take a trip into the backcountry. For those who are interested, here is a link to a recent publication from the Forest Service on how to volunteer on your national forest. For information about volunteering on the Sequoia National Forest, email Alicia Embrey.

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 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. 

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.

For those who organize and coordinate volunteers, here is a link to Working with Us. Please contact any Sequoia National Forest office for information about volunteer activities.

  • Kern River Conservancy - This volunteer group has played an important role in improving the Kern River.  Based out of Kernville, the Kern River Conservancy bridges the gap between the Forest and the visitors that travel from urban areas to visit here.  They have worked with the Forest Service to make Leave No Trace educational outreaches possible.  Join up and be a part of this important city-to-forest volunteer initiative.  Learn more at Facebook page for KRC.
  • Southern Sierra Conservancy – This organization partners with the Sequoia National Forest to promote responsible recreation and public lands conservation. They are organizing ongoing cleanup efforts for the Tule River Canyon to pick up trash and build community awareness for protection of the river.  Check out their calendar at Southern Sierra Conservancy.
  • Adopt-A-Trail program with four-wheeling enthusiasts - the Bakersfield Trailblazers are a local group that lead like-minded volunteers to help maintain Forest Service off-roading opportunities in the area.
  • Sign up for a Pacific Crest Trail Volunteer Vacations working on the Sequoia. For more details go online to the Pacific Crest Trail Association (PCTA) website
  • Volunteering via horseback - The Backcountry Horseman of California lead volunteer trail maintenance trips into the Sequoia National Forest and many other public lands around the state.  
  • Friends of the South Fork Kings River (FOSFK): This volunteer non-profit group has played an important role in improving the South Fork Kings River for more than two decades. Since then, FOSFK has been focused on increasing communications between the Forest Service and the general public. Members of FOSFK have been sharing information about Wild and Scenic Rivers and doing their park to aid the Sequoia National Forest In River Clean ups for decades. Join the efforts of FOSFK and help to be a part of this important work.  Learn more at Friends of the South Fork Kings River webpage or on their Facebook Page for FOSFK.
  • High Sierra 4WD Club: This non-profit group of Off-Highway Vehicle (OHV) enthusiasts strive to help the Sequoia National Forest keep legal OHV roads/routes open, clear and safe. High Sierra 4WD club have adopted numerous routes on the Hume Lake Ranger District where they annually assist in routine maintenance, care and stewardship of these routes. This family oriented group encourages safe operation of OHV’s on public Lands while continuing their membership with California 4WD Association. To learn more or about High Sierra 4WD Club visit their Facebook Page for 4WD Club.