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Volunteer Updates

National Public Lands Day

In late September of each year, communities across the country take part in National Public Lands Day (NPLD). In 2022, the Forest Service attracted a record 11,539 volunteers at NPLD events across the country, representing the greatest number of volunteers of all federal agencies who participated!

Forest Service NPLD Conservation Results at a Glance
Total acres of land restored or maintained 4,436.80
Total square feet of invasive species removed 8,730
Total pounds of trash collected 28,598
Total miles of trail restored or maintained 486.80
Total miles of waterway restored or maintained 19.30
Total pieces of infrastructure built or maintained 77.50
Total facilities built or maintained 63
Total accessibility enhancement built or maintained 7

In forests and grasslands across the country, volunteers participated in direct conservation such as trail maintenance and invasive species removal, while also learning about forest ecology and stewardship.

“National Public Lands Day provided a wonderful opportunity to connect new communities across the country to our mission,” says Heidi McAllister, Acting Director, Conservation Education. “Nearly 300 sites across the country engaged people in meaningful ways to their public lands, building awareness and ownership of their health and sustainability.”

To learn more about NPLD, visit National Public Lands Day | NEEF ( And save the date! NPLD 2023 is scheduled for September 23, 2023.


National Volunteer and Service Awards:

In fiscal year 2021, the U.S. Department of Agriculture Forest Service engaged 66,100 volunteers and service participants who dedicated 3,632,100 hours to “care for the land and serve people” –a total appraised value of $103,660,000. Although a 36 percent decline from pre-pandemic levels, the consistent engagement of the public to steward public lands throughout these two years continues to uplift amidst a time of national hardship. They served on mission-critical priorities including trail maintenance, restoration, visitor services, and volunteer coordination. Volunteers and service participants were particularly impactful to Forest Service efforts to facilitate safe access for record breaking numbers of visitors during the pandemic. Nominees included individual and group volunteers, partners, employees, and resource assistants. Congratulations to the 2021 Volunteers & Service Award winners for their outstanding contributions to the Forest Service mission and the Forest Service staffs who made it possible for the public to continue to serve safely.

Check out previous Volunteer and Service Award Recipients:


The Benefits of Service

U.S. citizens or permanent residents who individually accrue 250 volunteer hours qualify for an interagency volunteer pass, valid for one year.


  • Honored nationwide at all Forest Service, National Park Service, Bureau of Land Management, Bureau of Reclamation, and US Fish & Wildlife Service sites charging entrance or standard amenity fees.
  • Valid for 12 months from the month of issue. Expires the last day of the month punched.
  • Admits pass holder and any accompanying passengers in a private non-commercial vehicle.

At per-person fee sites, admits pass holder and up to 3 persons. Persons 15 and younger are admitted free of charge.

How to Obtain a Pass and Hangtag:

Available at most national forest or grassland offices.

More info on passes:

Recreation Fees and Passes | US Forest Service (