The CSFS Volunteer Program provides hands-on opportunities for people of all ages and experience levels to learn about forestry and natural resources.

Volunteers are invaluable and integral members of the Colorado State Forest Service (CSFS). The volunteer program helps achieve stewardship of Colorado’s diverse forest environments through on-the-ground forest management and outreach activities.

We invite volunteers of all ages and skill levels to participate in exciting projects and events throughout the year.

Volunteers gain experience with forestry and tree nursery operations, invasive species management, environmental education and other forest-related skills, and they develop meaningful relationships with forestry professionals and each other.

We encourage anyone interested to contact the volunteer coordinator, Nancy Dadisman (nancy.dadisman@colostate.edu), for more information.

Volunteer Positions

Forestry Field Hand — Volunteers who enjoy getting mud on their boots and gaining on-the-ground skills help the CSFS accomplish its natural resource objectives on state and private land. Forestry field hands provide assistance with fieldwork, such as swamping (moving of tree materials), feeding woody materials into chippers, piling or dragging woody materials, collecting plant materials with handsaws and clippers, planting seedling trees and shrubs, restoring or building trails, and conducting urban tree inventories.

Sawyer — The CSFS welcomes volunteers trained in the use of chainsaws and other forestry-related equipment to help improve the health of Colorado forests. Skilled sawyers can help remove hazardous trees and invasive trees, such as Russian olives, and help thin dense, fire-prone forests for restoration or fuel reduction objectives. The volunteer programs provides saws and safety equipment, and volunteer sawyers must provide proof of S-212-Wildland Fire Chainsaw certification or equivalent before operating saws.

Garden Hand — Are you a volunteer with a green thumb? The CSFS Seedling Tree Nursery seeks volunteers to help grow more than 50 native species at the nursery’s greenhouse and field plots. Landowners and natural resource managers use seedlings from the nursery for conservation and restoration efforts across Colorado, including reforestation of areas devastated by wildfire and flood. Volunteer garden hands help plant seeds and seedlings, sell seedlings and bare-root plants to the public, prune willows for riparian restoration projects, and remove Russian olives on the nursery property.

Environmental Educator — We invite enthusiastic volunteers with an interest in environmental education to participate in outreach events with the CSFS. Volunteers serving as environmental educators assist with educational programs for children, teens and adults and help staff booths at a variety of public events. The CSFS reached 11,000 attendees at 260 educational programs in 2016, and we would love your help engaging even more people in 2017!

Outreach Assistant — Outreach to students, landowners, natural resource professionals and the general public is a central mission of the CSFS. Our Outreach Division organizes volunteer events, coordinates CSFS publications, maintains our web presence, and produces engaging videos on timely forest-related issues. Organized volunteers can help our Outreach program run smoothly, from distributing publications to producing Tree Seed Cards to helping with educational/informational events.

Potential Project Work Days Include:

  • Cutting trees to mitigate hazards and improve forest health
  • Urban forestry
  • Tree planting
  • General landowner and community assistance
  • Reducing wildfire threats in a forest
  • Education and public awareness
  • Planting trees along a windbreak
  • Managing exotic weeds

Volunteers are Encouraged to Participate in Formal Training Events, Including:

  • Equipment safety and use/chipper training
  • CSFS seedling tree nursery
  • Insect and disease identification
  • Urban and community forestry
  • Environmental education with youth
  • Professionalism in natural resources management

Volunteer Commitment

Participation levels differ, depending on volunteers’ availability and interests

  • Volunteer throughout the state
  • Volunteer for long-term, short-term or one-time events
  • Volunteer as a group or class

Many college and high school students are CSFS volunteers. Volunteering offers opportunities to gain experience and network with professionals.

CSFS Volunteers are a critical aspect of our mission and serve as agency representatives to our customers. We expect that every volunteer will act professionally, treat others respectfully, practice safety first and have a genuine interest to learn about forestry and natural resources.