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Volunteers and Partners Toolbox

This toolbox represents a resource for information, contacts, and ideas to help wilderness managers get started or improve on citizen stewardship programs. It includes the topics of volunteers, partnerships, friends groups, and non-typical funding opportunities and provides examples and sources for more information. The toolbox features a paper found to be useful for both managers and partners: Components of and Barriers to Building Successful Wilderness Citizen Stewardship Programs. In addition to the resources provided here, you may also be able to obtain advice and recommendations through discussion on Wilderness Connect. Date of last update: 11/21/11.
  1. Introduction
    1. Overview
      The use of ’volunteers’ has long been a part of manager’s efforts to be effective stewards of wilderness. Projects such as trail maintenance, campsite clean-up, restoration, and visitor contact have been successfully accomplished at minimal cost in many locations and much has been learned about how to work with volunteers and how to implement partnerships. More recently partnerships have been developed to provide additional resources in support of wilderness stewardship. Today, managers have an increasing need to utilize partners, volunteers, and alternative funding opportunities to both accomplish work and also to help build an awareness of the wilderness resource and its benefits. As more people become involved in helping to steward wilderness understanding appreciation and support for wilderness grows. The resources of ’volunteers’ and ’partnerships’ have become known as ’Citizen Stewardship Programs’.

      Volunteers and partners interested in wilderness can make enormous personal, professional, and sometimes financial resources available to the wilderness manager. The typical ’volunteer in wilderness’ concept is evolving and many managers are utilizing people more as trained citizen stewards capable of taking on and successfully accomplishing more technical and challenging tasks. In addition to the traditional projects, volunteers are increasingly being used to help inform and educate other visitors and to monitor visitors use, campsites, trails, non-native invasive species, wildlife, water and other wilderness values can be accomplished. Often skills and interests that a volunteer has used in their own careers or other pursuits can be applied to needed wilderness management projects.

      It should be recognized that volunteers and other partners are not ’free’. Wilderness managers devote many hours of time and some funding into recruitment, project planning, training and supervision, tools, and supplies, and preparation of agreements to support a successful citizen stewardship program. This is time and funding that is increasingly limited but also necessary for wilderness management and implementation in the Forest Service of the Chief’s 10-Year Wilderness Stewardship Challenge. Often the recognition of the need for spending time and funding on establishment and maintenance of volunteer programs and partnerships pays off in many ways and for many years.

      This toolbox represents an online resource for information, contacts, and ideas to help wilderness managers get started or improve on citizen stewardship programs. It includes the topics of volunteers, partnerships, friends groups, and non-typical funding opportunities. Forest Service information on use of volunteers, partnerships, and agreements on the national forests, including agreement templates, guidelines, policies, volunteer organization contacts, and references, can be found on the Partnership Resource Center website. Additional resources can be found in agency manuals and handbooks (FSM 1830 Volunteers, and FSH 1509.11 Grants and Agreements Handbook). Also, check the Missoula Technology Development Center website for a Volunteer Coordinator Handbook emphasizing safety due out in the summer of 2005. Forest and regional volunteer coordinators and staff responsible for grants, agreements, challenge cost share programs, etc. should also be contacted for the latest guidelines and formats.
    2. Components of and Barriers to Building Successful Wilderness Citizen Stewardship Programs
    3. FACA Guidebook
    4. DOI Partnership Primer
    5. BLM Partnerships Guidelines
    6. FS Partnership Guide
  2. Resources
    1. Examples and Contacts
      This list contains contacts for examples of successful citizen stewardship programs. The information may be useful for those seeking volunteer help for small projects as well as those seeking to start or improve a long term citizen stewardship program for your wilderness.
      1. Citizen Stewardship Programs
        1. Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness
        2. Coconino Rural Environment Corps
        3. Colorado Fourteeners Initiative
        4. Colorado Mountain Club
        5. Forest Service Volunteer Association
        6. High Sierra Volunteer Trail Crew
        7. Indian Peaks Wilderness Alliance
        8. Montana Conservation Corps
        9. Mt. Hood National Forest Wilderness Stewards Program
          Forest contact: Mary Ellen Fitzgerald, Mt. Hood NF
        10. Poudre Wilderness Volunteers
          Forest contact: Kevin Cannon, Arapaho-Roosevelt NF
        11. Rocky Mountain Field Institute
        12. San Gorgonio Wilderness Association
        13. Selway Bitterroot Wilderness Foundation
        14. Stanislaus Wilderness Volunteers
          Forest contact: Bob Wetzell, Stanislaus NF
        15. University of Montana - Citizen Science Program
        16. Volunteers for Outdoor Colorado - Training and Projects
      2. National Organizations
        1. American Hiking Society - Volunteer Vacations
        2. Backcountry Horsemen of America
        3. Equestrian Land Conservation Resource - National Stewardship Award Grants
        4. National Forest Foundation - Conservation Awards and Partnership Guide
        5. National Smoke Jumpers Association
        6. Sierra Club
        7. Student Conservation Association
        8. Wilderness Volunteers
    2. Agency and NGO Links
      These links are provided to assist managers and organizations in finding information, guidelines, and funding sources for volunteer work and other partnerships. The information may be useful for those seeking volunteer help for small projects as well as those seeking to start or improve a long term citizen stewardship program for your wilderness.

      Some of the links will open a general partnership or volunteer resource. Follow additional links from the home page to access wilderness specific resources.
      1. Partnership Resource -- Toolbox for the Great Outdoors
      2. Federal Government Volunteer Opportunities
      3. BLM
        1. Partnerships Home Page
        2. Partnerships Toolbox
        3. Volunteers Home Page
        4. Examples of BLM regional partnership and volunteer resources
          1. Arizona
          2. California
          3. Oregon
      4. FWS
        1. Partnerships
        2. National Wildlife Refuge Support Groups (Friends)
      5. FS
        1. Forest Service Partnership Resource Center
        2. Partnership Enhancement Act of 2005
        3. Resource Advisory Committee Project Grants
        4. National Forest Foundation Wilderness Stewardship Challenge
          1. Guidelines
          2. 2006 Approved Projects
        5. Examples of FS regional partnership and volunteer resources
          1. Region 2 - Rocky Mountain Region Volunteer Opportunities
          2. Region 3 - Southwest Region
            1. Partnership and Volunteer Resources
            2. Intranet site for managers - Tools for building partnerships
          3. Region 4 - Intermountain Region
            1. Partnership and Volunteer Resources
            2. Intranet site for managers - Tools for building partnerships
          4. Region 5 - Pacific Southwest
            1. Inyo NF Wilderness Trail Program Partner Movie (6 min)
      6. NPS
        1. NPS Wilderness Education and Partnership Plan
      7. NGOs
        1. Leave No Trace - Education resources, grant programs
        2. Broadening Participation in Biological Monitoring: Guidance for Scientists and Managers - Institute of Culture and Ecology
        3. National Trails Training Partnership - American Trails
        4. National Wilderness Stewardship Alliance
        5. Volunteers for Outdoor Colorado
    3. MTDC Resources
      1. Login Information
        To access the Missoula Technology and Development Center publications from any computer go to: http://www.fs.fed.us/t-d/pubs/ and use the username: t-d and password: t-d.
      2. How to Search for Publications
        If you are looking for a certain publication, under Search, scroll down to "Key Word" and then in the box to the right of "Key Word" type in the subject you are interested in (e.g. crosscut saw).

        You can also view all MTDC publications by clicking on the Recreation program area link or the link to one of the other program areas. The publications start at the top with the most recent and go down from there.
      3. Partial List of Recreation Management Publications
        1. Outka-Perkins, Lisa; Beckley, Bob. 2009. Volunteers in the Forest Service: A Coordinator's Desk Guide. Recreation, Safety and Health Program. T&D Publication #0967 2814
        2. Outka-Perkins, Lisa. 2009. Welcome to the Forest Service: A Guide for Volunteers. Recreation, Safety and Health Program. T&D Publication #0967 2813
    4. Broadening Participation in Biological Monitoring: Guidelines for Scientists and Managers
    5. Stewardship Success Story - Mendocino NF
  3. Agreements
    1. Overview
      Forest Service information on use of volunteers, partnerships, and agreements on the national forests, including agreement templates, guidelines, policies, volunteer organization contacts, and references, can be found on the Partnership Resource Center website.

      Additional resources can be found in agency manuals and handbooks (FSM 1830 Volunteers, and FSH 1509.11 Grants and Agreements Handbook).

      Forest and regional volunteer coordinators and staff responsible for grants, agreements, challenge cost share programs, etc. should also be contacted for the latest guidelines and formats.
    2. BLM Collaboration Desk Guide
    3. BLM Non-Profit Desk Guide
    4. Examples
      1. CA BLM/WildCorps Assistance Agreement
      2. CA BLM/WildCorps Grants.gov Announcement
      3. Backcountry Horsemen of America MoU
      4. Chief's letter on National MoUs
      5. Adopt-a-Trail Template
      6. Memorandum of Understanding Template
      7. Volunteer Agreement - sponsored groups fs 1800-8
      8. River Partnerships
  4. Volunteer Recruitment and Training
    1. BLM
      1. BLM Partnership Case Studies
      2. BLM Volunteers Guide
    2. FS
      1. Regional Volunteer Workshops
        1. Region 2
        2. Region 5
      2. BWCAW
        1. Wilderness Handbook
        2. Maintenance Guide (Traditional Tools and Skills Toolbox)
      3. Desolation Wilderness
        1. Newsletter
      4. GPNF-Mt.Adams
        1. Application
        2. Duties-Wilderness Stewards
        3. General Info for Wilderness Stewards
        4. Position description
        5. Radio Operating Procedures
        6. Training Agenda
      5. Pacific Crest Trail Association Trail Skills Training
      6. Poudre Wilderness Volunteers
        1. Application
        2. Business cards
        3. Bylaws
        4. Contributor form
        5. New Volunteers Form
        6. Recruit meeting letter
        7. Report form
        8. Returning Volunteers Form
        9. Volunteers Welcome
        10. Certificates
        11. Tool check-out form
      7. Wenatchee-Okanogan NFs
        1. Duties-Wilderness Stewards
        2. Radio Operating Procedures
        3. Volunteer Questionaire-Wilderness Stewards
        4. Work Assignment Sheet-Wilderness Stewards
    3. Other Resources
      1. Training Plan - Stanislaus Wilderness Volunteers
      2. Training Agenda-Volunteer Stewards-WWNF
    4. Volunteer Safety and Law Enforcement
      1. Overview
        It is imperative that adequate hazard recognition and safety analysis be incorporated into any project of program that utilizes volunteers or partners operating under an agreement. The required training and personal protective equipment must either be provided or required of the participants and some supervision and follow-up may be necessary to monitor the safe use of tools and travel methods.

        The Job Hazard Analysis (JHA) process is used to identify hazards, training and equipment needs and document safe working procedures. Examples of JHAs for some wilderness work can be found below or at: http://fsweb.r1.fs.fed.us/rmlhw/trails/index.shtml#safe.

        Also, check the Missoula Technology Development Center website for a Volunteer Coordinator Handbook emphasizing safety due out in the summer of 2005.
      2. Job Hazard Analysis (general volunteer field work)
      3. Job Hazard Analysis (volunteer field work, desert)
      4. Job Hazard Analysis (volunteer wilderness steward patrols)
      5. Law Enforcement and Volunteers