• Archaeology • Botany • Construction/Maintenance • Conservation Education • Historical Preservation • Minerals/Geology • Soil/Watershed • Trail/Campground Maintenance • Visitor Information • Natural Resources Planning • Fish/Wildlife • Back Country/Wilderness • General Assistance • Weed/Invasive Species Control
Photo Courtesy of FS
Volunteers will be working with our Wilderness Rangers within the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness (BWCAW). Four duty stations are available: Cook, Ely, Grand Marias, and Tofte and each of these offices are taking applications.
The BWCAW is approximately 1 million acres that borders Canada. Travel within this wilderness is done mainly by canoe, and portages (trails) are utilized to go from one lake to the next. This particular program begins in the first part of June and ends usually in mid to late August. The ending date is flexible, but we do prefer a commitment of 2-3 months.
Free lodging is available in our newly constructed dorm-style housing units and has most of your basic amenities. A possible subsistence reimbursement may also be provided to those who are accepted.
The first week in June is dedicated to training. Some of this training includes: crosscut saw use, basic trail and backcountry campsite maintenance, first aid/CPR, canoe and watercraft operation, and proper use and care of hand tools. The main tools that we use are: crosscut saws, pulaskis, shovels, nippers, axes, etc. Another useful tool in the evening is a fishing pole.
A typical two week schedule consists of 7-8 days and nights camping, canoeing, and working hard within the BWCAW followed by six days off and then back in the woods for another 7-8 days. Our experienced Wilderness Rangers typically work from 7 am to 5:30 pm while in the BWCAW. Expect to paddle about 8-15 miles a day and portage (carry) your share of camping gear, tools, and canoes across those trails that connects our many lakes.
During the work day Wilderness Rangers will be maintaining those backcountry primitive campsites and logging/brushing out those portages as they travel. Sometimes you might stay at the same campsite within the BWCAW and other times you may be camping at different sites on different lakes throughout your 7-8 days. Most of the basic camping gear is supplied by the US Forest Service. This gear includes: tent, sleeping bag, thermarest, stove, pots/pans, fuel, water filter, life jacket, and paddle. This will all be supplied in one Duluth Pack and is yours to utilize for the summer.
When the work day is done, you are free to do whatever you like whether it’s fishing for trophy size walleyes and bass, swimming in our pristine lakes, or reading a book as the sun sets. Our volunteers in the past have said this was one of the greatest experiences that they have had. The only regret that you may have is not applying.
There are also numerous other volunteer opportunities available on the Superior National Forest. Some of the possibilities include but are not limited to: wildlife surveys, GPS/GIS, Adopt a Canoe Route, trail clearing, etc. Contact Jamie Lowe for further details.
HOUSING & AMENITIES Type: Bunk House Description: The bunk house is equipped with two bathrooms, shared kitchen and common area. On site laundry included and access to exercise facility and Wi-Fi.