Citizen Science Trips

2019 CITIZEN SCIENCE AND RESTORATION TRIPS 

Trip Descriptions

April 13th – 14th (Sat-Sun) Riparian Planting on Trout Creek - 2 SPOTS LEFT!
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In partnership with the US Forest Service, CFC is continuing to embark on riparian restoration throughout the Gifford Pinchot National Forest. With the help of volunteers, we planted over 2,500 cottonwoods, willows, western redcedars, and Douglas-firs in the past two years. We’ve planted along multiple degraded and at-risk waterways to help increase stream shade, improve bank stability, and enhance biodiversity. Join us for our first riparian planting trip of the season restoring riparian vegetation along Trout Creek where Hemlock Dam was removed 10 years ago. This creek is hugely important for steelhead and other fish species. Planting trips entail full days of physical labor and sometimes hiking through uneven terrain with heavy gear or planting bags. Trip difficulty rating: 5 out of 5

Time: Saturday 10 a.m. – Sunday 4 p.m., ~1.25 hours from PDX/Vancouver

Additional info: Lodging at Forest Service Bunkhouses near planting site, $10 trip fee per person

April 20th (Sat) Earth Day Riparian Planting in the Cowlitz and Cispus River Valley
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In partnership with the US Forest Service, CFC is continuing to embark on riparian restoration throughout the Gifford Pinchot National Forest. Volunteers have helped us plant over 2,500 cottonwoods, willows, western redcedars, and Douglas-firs over the past two years. We’ve planted along multiple degraded and at-risk waterways to help increase stream shade, improve bank stability, and enhance biodiversity. Join us for this one-day planting trip to plant natives along tributaries of the Cispus and Cowlitz Rivers. This planting trip entails a full day of physical labor and sometimes hiking through uneven terrain with heavy gear or planting bags. Trip difficulty rating: 5 out of 5

Time: 10 a.m. – 3 p.m., ~2 hours from PDX/Vancouver

Additional info: 14+ can attend with an adult, lunch provided

 

 

April 27th (Sat) Planting with Lower Columbia Fish Enhancement Group
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A special one-day collaboration with one of our partners – Lower Columbia Fish Enhancement Group, a salmon recovery organization that works within specific watersheds throughout Clark, Skamania, Lewis, Wahkiakum, and Cowlitz Counties. We will be helping them with their project along the South Fork Toutle River. The native trees we plant will help with LCFEG’s project goal of extending the range of usable habitat for Chinook as well as diversify existing steelhead and coho habitat. This planting trip entails a full day of physical labor and sometimes hiking through uneven terrain with heavy gear or planting bags. Trip difficulty rating: 4 out of 5

Time: 10 a.m – 3 p.m., ~2 hours from PDX/Vancouver

Additional info: 14+ can attend with an adult, lunch provided

May 18th – 19th (Sat-Sun) Invasive Species Removal near Packwood, WA
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Our Forest Service partners have identified locations of invasive plants where removal and mapping are greatly needed. Join us on this two-day trip to sites near Packwood, WA (a.k.a. the “heart of volcano country”) where we will remove invasive species like tansy ragwort, spotted knapweed, scotch broom, and English holly. You will also be helping to map invasives using GIS so we can monitor the location in the future to make sure the plants do not reinvade the area. This trip will require off-trail hiking over uneven terrain. Trip difficulty rating: 3 out of 5

Time: Sat. 10 a.m. – Sun 3 p.m., ~2.25 hours from PDX/Vancouver

Additional info: Lodging near Randle, WA, $10 trip fee per person

June 22nd – 23rd (Sat-Sun) Beaver Habitat Surveys near Lewis River- 2 SPOTS LEFT!

It is now the second year of our Cascades Beaver Reintroduction Project. We will be releasing beavers this year, as well as continuing to survey other potential sites to ensure we are finding our beavers optimal habitat to set them up for success! Working from our beaver habitat spatial analysis, we’ll be touring riparian areas along the Lewis River to explore possible release sites. Surveying these sites will entail looking for past or present beaver evidence and noting other various environmental features that are desirable to beaver. On Sunday we will end the day with a beautiful hike near June Lake and Mount St. Helens. This trip will require off-trail hiking through uneven terrain, along riparian areas, and sometimes across streams. Trip difficulty rating: 3 out of 5. 

Time: Saturday 10 a.m. – Sunday 3 p.m., ~1.5 hours from PDX/Vancouver

Additional info: Camping near Swift Reservoir, $5 trip fee per person

June 29th (Sat) Prescribed Burning Prep near Mt. Adams
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We are partnering with Mount Adams Resource Stewards (MARS) to help build resilience in the mixed conifer forests around Mount Adams and to help return these forest stands to a state more analogous to their historic condition by increasing the amount of land that will be ready for prescribed burning. Due to past fire suppression, these forests are now more susceptible to high-severity fires, drought, and disease. Before prescribed burning can occur, we must collect information on the amount of natural materials that could burn within the project site. The amount and type of available fuel has direct effects on fire behavior, smoke production, ecological consequences, and fire risk. Volunteers will help us to collect data on dead and down woody debris, duff/litter depth, and understory vegetation. Trip difficulty rating: 2 out of 5

Time: Sat. 10 a.m. – 3 p.m., ~2 hours from PDX/Vancouver

July 6th - 7th (Sat-Sun) Invasive Species Removal from Old-Growth Forests
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Botanists with the U.S. Forest Service have been finding herb Robert and other invasive plants spreading into old-growth forest stands near the Lewis River. We will be visiting these areas to map where this is occurring and remove these invasive plants before they take hold in the area. We will be accompanied by a botany expert with the Forest Service who will be helping to direct our work and teaching participants about the local fauna. This trip will require off-trail hiking over uneven terrain. Trip difficulty rating: 3 out of 5

Time: Sat. 10 a.m. –  Sun 3 p.m., ~2 hours from PDX/Vancouver

Additional info: 14+ can attend with an adult; Camping near Lewis River, $5 trip fee per person

July 13th (Sat) Kraus Ridge Timber Sale Survey
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Join our Policy and Campaign Manager on this trip to collect on-the-ground information for the Upper Wind timber sale. The data that you’ll be collecting helps us understand the habitat values of the area and the potential ecological effects of various management approaches. This trip will require off-trail hiking with uneven footing through brush and over downed logs. Trip difficulty rating: 3 out of 5

Time: Saturday 10 a.m. – 3 p.m., ~2.5 hours from PDX/Vancouver

July 20th – 21st (Sat-Sun) Beaver Habitat & BDA Suitability Surveys
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It is now the second year of our Cascades Beaver Reintroduction Project. We will be releasing beavers this year, as well as continuing to survey other potential sites to ensure we are finding our beavers optimal habitat to set them up for success! Working from our beaver habitat spatial analysis, we’ll be touring riparian areas along Yellowjacket Creek and Deception Creek to explore and measure potential beaver reintroduction sites. Surveying these sites will entail looking for past or present beaver evidence and noting other various environmental features that are favorable to beaver. Even if these areas are not suitable for beaver, they might be suitable for beaver dam analogues which are channel-spanning structures that mimic beaver dams and serve similar functions in terms of increasing stream complexity, attenuating flows, and creating deep pools which are beneficial to salmonid species! This trip requires hiking through uneven terrain along riparian areas and sometimes across streams. Trip difficulty rating: 4 out of 5

Time: Sat. 10 a.m. –  Sun 3 p.m., ~2.25 hours from PDX/Vancouver

Additional info: Camping near Cispus River, $5 trip fee per person

August 3rd-4th (Sat-Sun) Huckleberry Monitoring + Botany & Wild Foraging Hike
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Through our involvement with the Pinchot Partners forest collaborative, we will be continuing our monitoring efforts of huckleberry restoration sites to determine the effects of forest thinning on huckleberry restoration. We will be establishing plots and collecting data in huckleberry treatment areas near Pinto Rock. In addition to the huckleberry surveys, we will have horticulturist, Mulysa Melco, joining us on Sunday to take us on a hike to learn about edible plants in Washington! The terrain on huckleberry surveys can be steep can contain a large number of downed logs so navigation may be difficult in certain areas. And, some units are in exposed locations so sun protection is needed. Trip difficulty rating: 3 out of 5

Time: 10 a.m. – Sun 3 p.m., ~2.5 hours from PDX/Vancouver

Additional info: Camping near Pinto Rock, $15 trip fee per person

August 9th – 11th (Fri-Sun) Wildlife Camera Deployment
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*You must attend a training on Saturday, July 27th (10:00-1:00) in Forest Park in Portland if you want to participate in this trip*

In partnership with Oregon State and Portland State Universities, we are embarking on an in-depth study of marten and fisher populations in the Gifford Pinchot National Forest. Over the course of three days, we aim to deploy 50+ wildlife cameras in strategic locations to attempt to capture photos that will be used for occupancy modeling and habitat analysis. Volunteers will be split up into small groups and given a set of cameras to install at various locations within the project site. We will be setting up a basecamp and camping Friday to Sunday nearby the project area, so if you can only join for two of the three days, just let us know when you sign-up. If you attend this trip, you will be invited to go check the cameras on October 11th-13th to be the first to see what we’ve captured on film! This trip requires hiking over uneven terrain, through brush, over downed logs, and potentially up to 3 miles of hiking a day. Trip difficulty rating: 4 out of 5

Time: Fri. 10 a.m. – Sun 3 p.m., ~2.25 hours from PDX/Vancouver

Additional info: Camping near Cispus River, $5 trip fee per person

Training: You must attend the July 27th training if you want to attend this wildlife camera deployment. We will be meeting Saturday, July 27th (10:00 to 1:00) at Forest Park in Portland to learn how to set up wildlife cameras for our Wildlife Camera Deployment trip in early August. Details about exact meeting locations in Forest Park will be emailed.

August 17th (Sat) No Place for a Mine! Hike
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A mining company from Canada has plans to destroy a beautiful river valley near Mount St. Helens in their search for gold and copper. The Green River flows through old growth forests, roadless areas, a volcanic blast zone, and the Mount St. Helens National Monument. This beautiful area provides critical habitat for threatened fish species, drinking water to downstream communities, and a place where our families can hike and explore. It certainly should not be an industrial zone with toxic lakes of mine waste that can leak (it is alongside an active volcano!). Join our Campaign and Policy Manager on a one-day trip to this unique area to hike part of the Goat Mountain trail and hear the latest updates on our campaign to stop this mine. Hiking will occur on trail. Trip difficulty rating: 2 out of 5.

Time: 10 a.m. – 4 p.m., ~2.5 hours from PDX/Vancouver

August 24th – 25th (Sat-Sun) Seed Collection Trip near Mt. Adams
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As part of a long-term effort to build ecosystem health and future resilience of habitats around Mount Adams, we’ll be collecting native seeds of shrubs and grasses for future seeding and planting efforts in areas that were most severely impacted by uncharacteristically intense fires and fire cycles. Volunteers will be trained by a Forest Service specialist on Friday morning and will be carrying out seed collection that day and the following. The trip requires walking along uneven ground and extended exposure to the sun.  Trip difficulty rating: 2 out of 5

Time: Sat. 10 a.m. –  Sun 3 p.m., ~2.25 hours from PDX/Vancouver

Additional info: 14+ can attend with an adult; Camping near Mt. Adams, $5 trip fee per person

September 7th (Sat) Road Restoration Surveys
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Tour remote forest roads near Bear Creek to collect important data on stream culverts, forest road conditions, erosion, and fish passages. This information is used to help us and the Forest Service prioritize road restoration efforts, such as repairing blocked culverts, fixing erosion issues, minimizing channels of sediment delivery to streams, or closing at-risk roads. For road surveys, we meet in the morning to go over project logistics and then break up into groups of four or five in order to visit a variety of roads in the project area. Road survey trips require walking long distances. Although some roads are rough, most are open roads with a gravel or dirt base. Measuring culverts does require traversing steep roadsides. Trip difficulty rating: 2 out of 5

Time: 10 a.m. – 4 p.m., ~1.5 hours from PDX/Vancouver

Additional info: 14+ can attend with an adult

September 14th (Sat) OHV Monitoring in the Dark Divide
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Join our Campaign and Policy Manager on a one-day trip to collect information about off-road vehicle impacts to roadless areas in the Gifford Pinchot National Forest. Walking will mostly be on established trails in the Dark Divide near Craggy Peak, and may include some uneven footing and elevation gain. Trip difficulty rating: 3 out of 5

Time: 10 a.m. – 4 p.m., ~3 hours from PDX/Vancouver

September 21st - 22nd (Sat-Sun) Beaver Habitat Surveys + Mushroom Foraging Hike - 4 SPOTS LEFT!
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It is now the second year of our Cascades Beaver Reintroduction Project. We will be releasing beavers this year as well as continuing to survey other potential release sites. Working from our beaver habitat spatial analysis, we’ll be surveying riparian areas along the Cispus River. This work entails looking for past or present beaver evidence and noting other various environmental features that are desirable to beaver. On Sunday we’ll have mushroom forager, Rachel Zoller, joining us to take us on a hike to find mushrooms! Trip difficulty rating: 3 out of 5. 

Time: Saturday 10 a.m. – 4 p.m., Sunday 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. for mushroom foraging

Additional info: Camping near Cispus River, $15 trip fee per person

October 5th – 6th (Sat-Sun) Post-fire Seeding near Mt. Adams
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As part of a long-term effort to build ecosystem health and future resilience of habitats around Mount Adams, we’ll be dispersing the native seeds of shrubs and grasses that we collected last year. We will be seeding areas that were severely impacted by uncharacteristically intense fires and fire cycles just south of Mt. Adams. Volunteers will be joined by a special guest to get an expert perspective of fires in a forested landscape.  Trip difficulty rating: 2 out of 5

Time: Sat. 10 a.m. –  Sun 3 p.m., ~2.25 hours from PDX/Vancouver

Additional info: 14 + can attend with an adult; Camping near Mt. Adams, $5 trip fee per person

October 26th (Sat) Beaver Tracking - FULL!
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With beaver reintroductions taking place this year, we will be revisiting the release sites to monitor the beavers and the changes that are happening on the landscape. We hope to see that the beaver have stayed in the initial release spot and we hope to see an increase in side channels, the number of deep pools, the addition of large woody debris in the stream, and attenuating flows. This trip requires off-trail hiking around 3 miles through uneven terrain, along riparian areas, sometimes across streams. This trip may extend to two days, and we will notify everyone before the trip with details about the duration. Trip difficulty rating: 5 out of 5

Time: Sat 10 a.m. – 3 p.m., if Sunday is added, we’ll end at 3 p.m.

Additional info: Location TBD

November 2nd-3rd (Sat-Sun) Riparian Planting on Yellowjacket Creek & Cispus River
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We are continuing to embark on riparian restoration throughout the Gifford Pinchot National Forest. For this tw0-day trip, we will be heading to Yellowjacket Creek and the Cispus River to plant native trees following an in-stream wood installation project being carried out by The Cowlitz Tribe. After Saturday’s planting work, we’ll head 30 minutes east of our project site to Packwood, WA to stay at a lodging facility and hang out downtown at the local eateries and watering holes. Planting trips entail full days of physical labor and sometimes hiking through uneven terrain with heavy gear or planting bags. Trip difficulty rating: 5 out of 5

 

Time: Sat. 10 a.m. – Sun. 3 p.m., ~2.5 hours from PDX/Vancouver

Additional info: Bunkhouse lodging in Packwood, $20 trip fee per person

Trip Signup and Volunteer Information

CLICK HERE FOR THE TRIP SIGNUP FORM!

  • Price: $0.00
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    All trips are 18+ unless otherwise noted in the trip descriptions.
    We generally meet at a central location and then caravan or carpool to project sites so it is helpful if we know who has a car built for forest roads.
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Thank you so much for your interest in volunteering for our citizen science and restoration trips in the Gifford Pinchot National Forest! Here’s what you can expect:

o   No prior experience necessary! You will learn everything you need to know once we get to our project site.

o   Our projects range in levels of physical difficulty. Five is the most difficult and one is the least. These ratings are provided in the descriptions.

  You will be responsible for personal items including, food, water, appropriate clothes/boots for field work, and camping gear as needed. A detailed gear list will be sent for each trip.

o   For 2 and 3 day trips, we usually stay at campgrounds. In colder months, we stay at cabins or bunkhouses.

  If you can no longer attend a trip, please let us know ASAP, so we can contact someone on the waitlist. Refunds are not available

o   A confirmation email will be sent one month before the trip asking for a final RSVP. Following your RSVP, you will receive additional trip details including a gear list, meeting information, and carpool options. You will be notified by email in the rare event a trip is canceled.

Questions? Email our Science and Stewardship Coordinator!
amanda@cascadeforest.org


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 info@cascadeforest.org