This originally appeared on the Idaho Conservation League website on April 10, 2019.

Give back to the places you love! Enrich your adventures this summer by protecting and preserving our wilderness areas while you explore. Apply by May 15!

Applications are now open for our 2019 Central Idaho Wilderness Stewardship program!

Do you enjoy spending time outside? Are you interested in helping preserve and protect the wilderness? Our wilderness stewardship program gives you the opportunity to give back while you’re out recreating in our wilderness areas. If you love our wild places and want to help support them, learn more about becoming a wilderness steward today! The program is designed to fit around your schedule, with a time commitment of four steward patrols during the summer plus one day of training. You can start by checking out these FAQs about the program. To become a steward, fill out the application on our website. See you on the trails!

Q: What is the goal of the wilderness stewardship program?

A: The overarching goal of the wilderness stewardship program is to engage citizens and communities to restore, protect and enhance the Hemingway-Boulders, Jim McClure-Jerry Peak, Cecil D. Andrus-White Clouds and Sawtooth Wildernesses, and recommended wilderness areas in the Salmon-Challis National Forest and in Craters of the Moon National Monument and Preserve.

Q: Why become a wilderness steward?

A: If you’re like us, you’re already going out and enjoying these beautiful places on your days off so why not become a wilderness steward and help take care of these areas while you’re out there! You can also enjoy your favorite outdoor setting with friends and family while you make a difference for the wild places you love.

Q: Who can become a wilderness steward?

A: A wilderness steward can be any person 18 or older who is committed to volunteering time to restoring, protecting and enhancing wilderness character. If you prefer a group effort, designated wilderness stewards can involve their friends or family members in their conservation work too.

Q: How much of a time commitment is it to serve as a steward?

A: Volunteer stewards are committed to a minimum of 4 steward patrols from June 9th to Nov. 1, 2019. Stewards can begin their patrols once they have completed training on Sunday, June 9th, 2019.

Q: Why is it important that I volunteer?

A: Exciting opportunities await you as a partner in the stewardship of Central Idaho’s public lands. You will find many rewards and opportunities to learn new skills, meet interesting and highly motivated people who are experts in their fields, and do meaningful and rewarding work. We are confident that you will benefit from your volunteer experience. We will benefit from your unique background and skills.

Q: Who is an ideal candidate?

A: An ideal candidate is someone who…

  • Loves Central Idaho’s backcountry and wilderness areas.
  • Has solid wilderness travel/decision-making skills.
  • Is in good physical condition to travel long distance at high elevation.
  • Possesses excellent communication skills.
  • Is First Aid/CPR certified. (If your certifications are out of date, we have options for you to renew certifications.)
  • Has knowledge of Leave No Trace (LNT) principles.

Q: What supplies will be provided for volunteers?

A: ICL, the U.S. Forest Service, and the U.S. National Park Service will provide:

  • Maps
  • Work gloves
  • In-depth wilderness stewardship training
  • Trash collection kit

Q: What is a wilderness steward responsible for?

A: A wilderness steward is responsible for:

  • Transportation to and from trailheads
  • Personal gear
  • First aid kit
  • Camera/cell phone
  • Personal safety
  • Optional: Satellite messenger (SPOT or Garmin InReach)

Q: What areas can I become a steward of?

A: Once you have gone through training, you are a steward of any destination you choose within our program areas. These include the Hemingway-Boulders, Jim McClure-Jerry Peak, White Clouds, Sawtooth Wildernesses, the recommended wilderness areas in the Pioneer Mountains and around Mt. Borah, and Craters of the Moon National Monument and Preserve.

Q: What type of training is provided for the wilderness stewards?

A: A one-day training will be provided for the wilderness stewards on Sunday, June 9th. The training will cover:

  • The Wilderness Act
  • Leave No Trace principles
  • How to manage visitor contacts
  • Invasive species
  • Data collection and trip reports
  • Regulations
  • Conduct/ethics
  • Campsite naturalization
  • Dark sky monitoring

Q: I want to become a wilderness steward. How do I apply?

A: If you are interested in becoming a wilderness steward, fill out the application on our website and submit it by Wednesday, May 15th. If you have questions, call Betsy at 208.726.7485. After completing the application, you will be invited to attend our one-day stewardship skills session and training on Sunday, June 9th. After successfully completing this training, you can begin your work as a steward!

Q: How do I find out more about being a wilderness steward?

A: More detailed information will be covered on the Sunday, June 9th training day. If you have any questions, call Betsy at 208.726.7485.