Seasonal Forestry Volunteer Jobs

Public and private entities involved in reforestation activities are feeling the effects of the current economic climate in similar fashion as other businesses. Therefore, the need for seasonal or volunteer positions is critical to their operations.

While the pay may not be much or actually nonexistent, these positions often provide valuable experience which can used in future applications for paid or full-time forestry positions.

The United States and Canadian Forest Services hire a number of seasonal, mostly summer jobs, each year. Openings vary each year, but usually cover the entire range of reforestation activities. Timber salvage and harvesting, insect and tree surveying and general forest stand boundary marking are just a few examples. Contacting individual districts will provide more specific examples.

One summer position gaining popularity in Canada is the forest health crew member. This role requires a person to be part of a team performing surveys on a range of insects and plants that could potentially harm a forest system.

Most activities involve the collection of samples and analysis of data, but could extend to action plan implementation based on the situation.

Pay is typically in the $20 range.

In general, summer positions begin in June and extend through August, working full-time. The pay usually ranges between $10 and $15 per hour, with government housing provided.

While there are generally no specific educational requirements, applicants must have some knowledge of forestry practices and be able to work in remote forested and usually mountainous terrain, regardless of weather conditions. The government forest services also rely a great deal on volunteers, which can be mutually beneficial for both sides.

Volunteering can be a great way for an individual to give back to the environment, while the government entity obtains work services they generally do not have the funds to provide for.

There are part-time and full-time roles, with the type of work based on an individual’s preference. National or provincial parks hire wilderness ranger volunteers to work with the park rangers on a number of activities, such as fire prevention, trail maintenance and research projects. Visitor centers are always in need of volunteers to meet with the general public. The vast array of public campgrounds across the continent need campground hosts to live in their parks and handle the typical needs for their location.

Many cities require volunteers in their urban forestry departments as well. Tree planting and care for public green areas fall into that category. In short, just about any volunteer position for any age is available.

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