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.


Ely area: Jamie Lowe | 218.365.2080 | jamie.w.lowe@usda.gov


Cook/Aurora area 
Tom Yankowiak | 218-666-0051 | tom.yankowiak@usda.gov

Tofte/Grand Marais area 
Cathy Quinn | 218-387-3240 | cathleen.quinn@usda.gov


  • 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.



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

Heart of the Continent Partnership Volunteer Opportunities  Lists opportunities for volunteering on the 5.5 million acres of public lands in the Heart of the Continent region.

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: