Volunteers at the Southeast Alaska Discovery Center clean up the planting beds
Volunteers clean up the planting beds at the Southeast Alaska Discovery
Center in Ketchikan

‚ÄčThe Value of Volunteers

Volunteers are an important part of caring for the land and serving the people on our National Forests. The Tongass National Forest is proud to host volunteers and work with volunteer organizations who contribute thousands of hours of service each year. We appreciate the enormous contribution of people who want to give back to their public lands while enjoying an incredible experience in the Alaskan rainforest.

Volunteering isn't just beneficial for the forest, it benefits you. It can give you the opportunity to pursue a special interest, such as bird watching or hiking. Many individuals have found that their volunteer experience has guided them towards job interest and possible careers. Retirees often find volunteering gives them a new opportunity to share their skills. The types of work a volunteer can perform are many and varied. 

A variety of volunteer possibilities are available, ranging from office work to vigorous outdoor physical labor. Volunteers and interns serve in many forest activities – counting birds, maintaining hiking trails, restoring watersheds, or serving as campground hosts. You may volunteer full- or part-time and can participate in a day long project or serve over several months, seasons, or years. You are limited only by your willingness to serve.

  • Get outdoors and enjoy the forest with a new perspective.
  • Develop experience in the many facets of natural resource management, conservation, recreation, and other areas of land management.
  • Gain the self-satisfaction in providing community service.
  • Spend time in the outdoors with the company of your fellow volunteers and visitors.
  • Students may volunteer to earn college credits through a colleg approved intern program, or to become familiar with Forest Service activities and philosophy.

Whether you’re an individual interested in volunteering or an organization interested in hosting volunteer group, we’re interested in working with you. To find out how you can help by volunteering on the Tongass National Forest, contact the Forest Service Ranger District office closest to where you want to volunteer or the Tongass National Forest Volunteer Coordinator, Nicole Olsen, 907-586-8740