Citizen Science | Get Involved with Forest Conservation

Citizen Science

Volunteer trips with the Cascade Forest Conservancy

The work of volunteers is an essential part of our conservation and restoration efforts. We use field data collected by volunteers to inform all aspects of our work, from forest policy to road restoration initiatives. We also lead restoration trips with volunteers to improve habitat for wildlife and support ecosystem resilience. We are deeply appreciative of the time and effort invested by volunteers, and we hope our citizen science trips are a mutually beneficial endeavor. Our citizen science program is called GPS: the Gifford Pinchot Stewards.

Visit our Trip Signup page to see the list of trips we are offering for the year and to sign up. Recent trips include:

  • Survey of streams and forest roads to collect important field data on stream culverts, forest road conditions, erosion, and fish passage
  • Timber surveys to collect information important for conservation planning and our collaborative work with timber harvest proposals
  • Wildlife survey trips to monitor the distribution of carnivores and pikas
  • Huckleberry monitoring to determine the effects of forest thinning on huckleberry restoration
  • Beaver habitat surveys to validate spatial models, monitor current occupancy, and identify limiting factors
  • Riparian planting trips to enhance native vegetation along stream banks
  • Post-fire seeding trips to support re-growth of grasses and pollinator species in areas impacted by uncharacteristically severe fire patterns


Young Friends of the Forest

Young Friends of the Forest is a partnership between the Cascade Forest Conservancy and local schools offering unique field science opportunities for middle school and high school students. We work with the U.S. Forest Service to develop citizen science projects that engage our community’s youth with real, on-the-ground projects in the southern Washington Cascades. The program provides students with a unique learning experience that aligns with and enhances their school curriculum. The projects that the students take part in are directly related to forest management, and the data collected is used to help prioritize and design real restoration efforts in the national forest. These citizen science trips can be tailored to various curriculum requirements and/or Common Core and Next Generation standards. Our goals are to connect young people to the outdoors, teach forest and aquatic ecology, and mentor the next generation of environmental stewards.

To date, we have worked with multiple schools from Portland, OR, Oregon City, OR, Vancouver, WA, Stevenson, WA, and Camas, WA. In 2018, we had 216 students (a 100% increase from 2017!) put in over 850 hours into multiple conservation projects such as forest health surveys, riparian planting, and beaver site assessments. CFC is very excited for more students to participate in this unique experience in the 2019 season!

If you are a science educator and want a one-of-a-kind outdoor experience for your students, email our Citizen Science and Stewardship Coordinator at


The video below offers a look into our citizen science work.