Volunteering

a tree with pictures of volunteers overlaid on it
Just as sunshine, rain and soil sustain a tree, the Superior National Forest thrives on contributions from our valued volunteers!

In FY2023, our volunteer base of over 1,000 people logged 53,000 hours on the Forest! That is the most in the entire Eastern Region. The estimated value of these contributions is well over $1.6 million dollars. We are humbled by and grateful for these contributions.

Volunteers contribute to many areas including wildlife, recreation, wilderness, interpretation and more. If you are interested in volunteering on the Superior, please read below.
Photos shown on the graphic are provided by the Superior Hiking Trail Association, the Boundary Waters Advisory Committee, the Student Conservation Association, and the Superior National Forest.

Volunteer: Gain While You Give

Consider taking an adventure that makes a difference to your public lands. Visit remarkable areas of the Superior National Forest, meet new and interesting people, and challenge yourself while learning new skills. Are you willing to help preserve the Superior National Forest and its inhabitants? Will you and your group make a commitment to help ensure that future visitors have a quality Forest experience?

The Forest Service could use your help. While each visitor is responsible for following Forest rules and regulations, picking up litter, and following minimum-impact camping practices, successful preservation and conservation of the Superior National Forest depends on the help of a special group of people known as Superior National Forest Volunteers.

Volunteer commitments can range from spending a few hours picking up trash at entry points or trailheads, to maintaining dispersed campsites around the Forest, or to spending an entire summer assisting Wilderness Rangers with restoration projects in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness (BWCAW). Volunteers may choose where they spend their time, whether it is in the Grand Marais, Tofte, Ely, Aurora or Cook areas, inside or outside the Wilderness.

Who To Contact:

Opportunities:

  • WILDERNESS AID – Assist wilderness rangers on overnight trips in the BWCAW maintaining campsites, portages and hiking trails.
  • BACK-COUNTRY AID – Assist recreation staff on day or overnight trips maintaining Forest recreation facilities outside wilderness.
  • WILDERNESS RESTORATION AID – Assist wilderness staff on specific long-term campsite or portage restoration projects mainly in one location.
  • DEVELOPED RECREATION AID – Assist recreation staff on day trips maintaining recreation facilities such as campgrounds and road signs.
  • CAMPGROUND HOST - Spend the summer in a Forest Service campground assisting campers and maintaining campground facilities.
  • WILDLIFE AID - Assist wildlife biologists in improving wildlife habitat and conducting wildlife surveys.
  • TIMBER AID - Assist foresters on reforestation and timber stand improvement projects.
  • FOREST NATURALIST - Work in cooperation with the Forest Service and local resorts and communities providing visitor interpretation.
  • HERITAGE AID – Assist archaeologists inventorying, protecting and monitoring cultural resources.

Additional Information:

Northwoods Volunteer Connection  Connects volunteers with natural resource and recreation projects in northeastern Minnesota.

USDA Volunteer Volunteering is not for everyone, but it can provide unique opportunities, valuable work experience, an atmosphere to meet others with similar concerns and interests in public lands, and the satisfaction of helping to preserve the Superior National Forest for future generations. If you are interested in volunteering, please write or call the Forest for more information.

Contact a Superior National Forest office nearest you.