Citizen Science Trips

CITIZEN SCIENCE AND RESTORATION TRIPS 

Thank you for your interest in volunteering for a trip in the Gifford Pinchot National Forest!

In response to the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic, we have cancelled many of our citizen science trips through September. For the trips that are still on the list, there will be many modifications made on how these trips will be conducted. If you have signed-up for a trip(s) you will receive an email outlining the changes a month before the date of the trip. Volunteer and staff safety is our first priority. Thank you for your dedication to our organization and the southern Washington Cascades. 

 

Here’s what you can expect:

As a volunteer citizen scientist, you’ll join experienced conservationists as we work together to preserve and restore the unique ecosystems in and around Gifford Pinchot National Forest. Come learn and explore while you make a positive impact that will last for years to come.

No prior experience is necessary to volunteer as a citizen scientist–you’ll learn everything you need to know once you arrive at the project site. Some sites are easier to reach than others. Use our 1 (easy) – 5 (demanding) difficulty rating scale to select the trip that’s the right fit for your outdoor experience and comfort.

A few things to remember when signing up:

  • Trips are free, but fill quickly, so reserve your spot ASAP!
  • Volunteers are responsible for supplying their own food, water, camping gear (as needed) and appropriate clothing for being in the field.
  • For overnight trips, volunteers and CFC staff will stay at reserved campsites within the Gifford Pinchot National Forest. During colder months, we’ll reserve lodging at cabins or bunkhouses.
  • Before your trip, CFC staff will provide you with additional trip details, gear lists, meeting information, and carpool options.

Trip Descriptions

CANCELLED: No Place for a Mine! Hike on Mt. St. Helens | Saturday September 19

CANCELLED

When: 11:00am – 3:00pm September 19

There are available options for overnight camping depending on participant interest.

Where: Green River Trail #213

Trip leader: Lucy Brookham

Join our Policy Manager on a one-day trip to hike part of the Green River Trail and hear the latest updates on our campaign to stop the creation of a dangerous open-pit mine! CFC is engaged in a fight to stop a Canadian mining company’s plans to destroy a beautiful river valley near Mount St. Helens in their search for gold and copper. During this hike, you’ll learn what’s at stake and what you can do to join our work to prevent this disaster from becoming a reality.

Learn more about our campaign to stop the mine here.

Difficulty: 2 out of 5 || The trip will entail hiking 8 miles on a trail that is ranked moderate.

You’ll need:

  • Sturdy hiking boots
  • Rain gear
  • Sun protection
  • Day pack with food, water, and other essentials
  • Camping gear if you plan to stay Saturday night

Lodging: CFC will reserve nearby campsites if enough hike participants want to stay overnight.

Post Fire Planting on Mt. Adams | Saturday and Sunday, October 3-4

When: 10:00am October 3 – 3:00pm October 4

Where: South of Mt. Adams

Trip leader: Suzanne Whitney

We’ll be dispersing native seeds and planting native shrubs to rebuild ecosystems and habitats. You’ll be hiking and working in areas just south of Mt. Adams that were impacted by uncharacteristically intense fires and unusually frequent fire over the last 12 years. Volunteers will be joined by a USFS Botanist to get an expert perspective of fires in a forested landscape. Hike through this barren landscape to help accelerate recovery of the forest structure!

Difficulty: 4 out of 5 || The trip will entail carrying 20 lbs of seed/shrubs will traversing uneven ground. Some trekking will be done on trail. The pace will be slow and steady, but we will need all parties to be able to carry seed/shrubs to the planting site.

You’ll need:

  • Sturdy hiking boots
  • Rain gear
  • Sun protection
  • Day pack with food, water, and other essentials
  • Camping gear

We’ll Provide:

  • Gloves
  • Shovels
  • Orange vests
  • Planting bags to carry seeds and shrubs

Lodging:  Camping in Trout Lake

Rescheduled for Spring 2021: Riparian Planting along Trout Creek | Saturday and Sunday, October 17-18

Rescheduled for Spring 2021

When: 10:00am October 17 – 3:00pm October 18

Where: Trout Creek, Hemlock Picnic Area

Trip leader: Suzanne Whitney

In partnership with the US Forest Service, CFC is helping restore riparian areas by planting trees, shrubs, and rushes along streams and rivers. For this two-day trip, we will return to Trout Creek where Hemlock Dam was removed 11 years ago. Since the removal of the dam, the Forest Service has worked to restore Trout Creek in efforts to protect and enhance habitat for steelhead and other fish species. Last year CFC staff and volunteers planted over 2,000 trees at this site, but the area is still in need of more trees to help increase stream shade, improve bank stability, and enhance biodiversity. Join us in our efforts to enhance this beautiful area by planting more trees and shrubs!

Difficulty: 3 out of 5 || This trip will entail two full days of physical labor. Volunteers are encouraged to work at a pace that is most comfortable for them. The site is mostly flat and is near the Hemlock Picnic Site.

You’ll need:

  • Sturdy hiking boots
  • Rain gear
  • Sun protection
  • Day pack with food, water, and other essentials
  • Camping gear

We’ll Provide:

  • Gloves
  • Shovels
  • Orange vests
  • Planting bags to carry seeds and shrubs

Lodging: Forest Service bunkhouses near planting site.

If you prefer to help for one day instead of spending the night, please let us know when you sign up.

Riparian Planting in the Cowlitz Valley | Saturday and Sunday, October 24-25 (One-day option available)

When: 10:30am October 24 – 3:00pm October 25

Where: Upper Cispus River / Yellowjacket Creek

Trip leader: Suzanne Whitney

In partnership with the Cowlitz Tribe and the US Forest Service, CFC staff and volunteers will be planting native trees near in-stream restoration sites to promote quick recovery and revegetation. After our first day of planting, we’ll head back to Packwood for some food and fun! We’ll stay the night at a local lodging facility and will make our way out for more planting on Sunday.

Difficulty: 4 out of 5 || This trip entails full days of physical labor and hiking through uneven terrain with heavy gear. Volunteers are encouraged to work at a pace that is most comfortable for them.

You’ll need:

  • Sturdy waterproof hiking boots
  • Waders (if you have them)
  • Rain gear
  • Sun protection
  • Day pack with food, water, and other essentials
  • Camping gear

We’ll Provide:

  • Gloves
  • Shovels
  • Orange vests
  • Planting bags to carry seeds and shrubs

Lodging:  Bunkhouse near Packwood, WA

Trip Signup

2019 Photos from the Field

The work of volunteers is an essential part of our conservation and restoration efforts. Thank you the many volunteers that helped make a difference in the SW Washington Cascades!


INDEPENDENT VOLUNTEER ADVENTURES

Do you want to visit the Gifford Pinchot National Forest on a mission? There are a variety of survey needs that can be tackled independently by citizen stewards. You can head out for a survey trip with friends or family or tie it into a weekend camping trip. The projects this year that can benefit from independent volunteers include beaver habitat surveys and pika surveys. You’ll need a little training and information to get started, so get in touch and fill out the trip signup form (be sure to indicate that you’d like to learn more about the independent volunteer trips).


JOIN US IN THE OFFICE!

Are you interested in learning how the office is run at an environmental nonprofit? Look no further — We need computer-savvy individuals to help with data entry, Salesforce assistance, and other office maintenance. Have some IT expertise to share? We’d love to talk to you! This is a great learning (or teaching) opportunity for passionate environmentalists!

Send us an email at jordan@cascadeforest.org