This U.S. Forest Service volunteer position is an opportunity to live on the National Forest, providing public service while hosting and maintaining the 16-site Tom Miner Campground. Approximately $25 reimbursement for each day served is provided for propane/gas/fuel for cooking and heating.
Tom Miner Campground is a first-come, first-serve campground located on the Custer-Gallatin National Forest, approximately 17 miles northwest of the town of Gardiner, MT and 35 miles south of Livingston, MT. At an elevation of over 7000 feet, the campground is set in the foothills of the Gallatin Mountain Range at the southern end of the Yellowstone River’s Paradise Valley. This 16-site campground has dirt roads with unpaved sites that accommodate a maximum of 40’ RVs. The Buffalo Horn Pass Trailhead and horse corral is located adjacent to this campground, with access to the Gallatin Petrified Forest. Vault toilets, fire rings, picnic tables, and water hand pumps are provided to the public at this fee campground. There is no electricity, trash service or firewood provided.
Volunteer campground hosts are front-line representatives of the United States Forest Service. Few Forest Service employees have as much direct daily contact with members of the public as a volunteer campground host. Volunteer service is greatly appreciated and critical to achieving our agency’s mission of protecting the land and serving the people!
General duties include:
Being a courteous, professional, and friendly host to forest visitors while representing the agency
Providing visitor information including: recreational opportunities, food storage order info, rules and regulations
Maintaining the campground and stocking/cleaning vault toilets (seasonal employees will provide the majority of the vault toilet cleaning and stocking)
Monitoring fee compliance
Ensuring a positive working relationship
Host at Tom Miner also provides free permits for petrified wood collection in the Gallatin Petrified Forest
Season, Schedule, and Utilities:
Campground hosts must be available from approximately May 27th thru October 31st, with an option to extend season on either or both ends if desired. (Weather dependent) Hosts volunteer 5 days a week, including weekends and holidays. A full season’s commitment is required. A typical commitment is 2-3 hours per day/20 hours per week. Hosts are on duty in both the morning and evening during daylight hours to greet visitors and to conduct fee compliance checks. The Recreation Manager will coordinate with the host regarding the time of day to complete maintenance duties. Days off will be taken mid-week on Tuesday/Wednesday or Wednesday/Thursday. The host is not required to stay on site during days off.
The campground host site parking spur is 12’x 40’ to accommodate a RV or camp trailer. Vault sewer and storage shed are provided by the Forest Service. Cell phone reception is limited. Hosts must provide their own RV or camp trailer along with propane (if applicable). The use of a tent as the only means of housing is not permitted. Pets may be permitted on a case by case basis. Please note that all pets must be on a leash, including host pets, within the campground. Also, ATVs, UTVs, and motorcycles must meet Montana state law (e.g., must be street legal) in order to ride on State and Forest Service roads.
There is a post office in the town of Gardiner, where hosts can either pay for a PO Box or can have mail delivered via General Delivery.
Full services including groceries, gas, laundry and restaurants are available in the town of Gardiner
Campground fee rate: $7.00 per day includes two vehicles; additional $3.00 fee for an extra third vehicle if space allows
Maximum stay permitted: 16 days
Average parking size: 12' x 40'
Hook ups: Host site only
Number of restrooms: 2 (single unit vaults)
Food and attractant storage regulations are in effect to prevent wildlife/human conflicts
Wildlife is abundant in the area, including Grizzly Bears
There are no garbage cans or garbage services (pack it in pack it out)
Fee and Regulation Compliance:
Ensuring that campers pay their fees is one of the host’s primary duties. Fees collected at the site pay for the host's utilities, water, site improvements, and law enforcement patrols. Campground hosts conduct both morning and evening checks to verify that campers have paid their fees and are abiding by vehicle limits and campground rules. The host records fee permit and license plate information that is submitted to the Forest Service to verify payment. Hosts request that visitors pay the fee when they have failed to do so. Hosts also inform visitors about general regulations including: food storage, quiet hours (10 p.m.-6 a.m.), parking, and leashing pets.
All supplies, tools, and equipment are provided by the Forest Service. Ensuring a clean and well-maintained campground for the public is of the utmost importance. Daily campground maintenance duties will be conducted by seasonal Forest Service employees; hosts may occasionally be required to perform the following:
Cleaning and stocking restrooms
Shoveling and cleaning out fire rings
Mowing / line trimming (as needed)
Reporting vandalism or facilities that are in need of repair
Litter pick up
Painting picnic tables
Installing/repairing site number signs
Volunteering as a campground host for the US Forest Service provides a great service to the public, and most hosts find the experience rewarding. We thank you for your interest in volunteering for the Custer Gallatin National Forest.
Applicants must submit:
a volunteer application
if requested, email a resume with past work or volunteer experience and three references to Volunteer coordinator
agree to a background investigation completed by the Forest Service if tentatively selected for the position
If you have questions or are interested in this position, feel free to contact Dave Green at the Gardiner Ranger District at (406)-838-2007 or by email at email@example.com or Gail Plovanic at (406)-848-7376 ext 23 or firstname.lastname@example.org we look forward to hearing from you!
HOUSING & AMENITIES Description: The campground host site parking spur is 12’x 40’ to accommodate a RV or camp trailer. Vault sewer and storage shed are provided by the Forest Service. Hosts must provide their own RV or camp trailer along with propane (if applicable).