I spend a fair amount of time as a volunteer in the National Forests. Last year, it was about 250 hours. We count those hours because the USFS encourages its staff to develop a volunteer program and use it to increate the amount of work that can get done in the National Forests.
The good news is that with the infrastructure bill, the USFS does have more money this year, and we've noticed additional staff on hand, as well as a lot of work getting done. That's the good news. The bad news is that there is still a ton of work to do. And there is still a greet need for volunteers who are willing to help out.
We love this work. It puts us into contact with a great bunch of people who love the mountains and are willing to do their part to make them better. Sometimes that means improving trails, sometimes it means restoring areas that have been overly impacted by visitors, sometimes it just means hiking the trails, cleaning up the trash or talking to visitors. In every case, it means getting out into the mountains with a purpose. And that's a great thing.
If you are interested in doing something like this, check out the links below. We work with all of these groups, and they all do great work. Plus, they're all really good people. https://mokewv.org/
The Mokelumne Wilderness Volunteers--a small group that does amazing work just south of Lake Tahoe.https://www.desowv.org/
The Desolation Wilderness Volunteers--a much larger group that works west of Lake Tahoe, both in the Tahoe Basin and on the west side of the Crystral Range. https://mariposatrails.org/
A grass-roots organization that develops and maintains trails just west of Yosemite. https://www.cserc.org/
A non-profit that works to protect the resources of tne Central Sierra, which includes doing some volunteer work for the Stanilaus National Forest.