About the California Conservation Project
California Conservation volunteers participate in small teams of both U.S. citizens and international participants, while working and camping on direct service projects for the California State Parks and other land management agencies all over the state of California. Projects include:
- sustainable trail construction and maintenance
- non-native species removal
- fence construction
- erosion control
- wilderness restoration
Conservation volunteers contribute their energy and enthusiasm to a safe and professional outdoor atmosphere while making a positive impact to the surrounding landscapes and communities.
To join one of these programmes is to contribute to a lasting legacy of work proudly implemented for the benefit of the environment and communities all throughout California. It is to develop professionally in a goal-oriented culture, and grow within a team.
From the Cascade Mountains and shrub steppe in the north, throughout the Sierra Nevada, along the coast and interior valleys, to the chaparral and deserts in the south – in wilderness areas and urban interfaces alike – California Conservation volunteers conduct ecological restoration, trail improvement, and hazardous fuel reduction projects wherever the work is needed.
How does it work?
Participants join teams of other international conservation volunteers on specific start dates all throughout the year. You would spend typically 8 to 11 days in the wilderness hiking and camping out whilst carrying out conservation duties – sometimes up to 3 weeks in some backcountry locations. Work days consist of 8-10 hours per day, 40 hours per week. Then you will be transported back to Santa Cruz for a rest/free time period of 2 to 5 days and then after this, you would go back out in the field for another “hitch” period. Over a period of 8 weeks, you would most likely take part in 3 to 4 hitches. Generally these will be in different locations/national parks/reserves all over California depending on where the need is. Free time is a time to rest at the base camp or to visit some other stunning places across California, Arizona, Nevada if you wish (at your own cost).
“In the USA, National Parks, Forests, wilderness areas and other public lands are imperilled by a combination of dynamics that threaten habitat, endanger vital ecosystems, and compromise the right of the next generation to explore the natural world. A passion to get involved is how this project was formed in 2004. Our volunteers are our most valuable resource, and we couldn’t make such an impact without them.” – quote by the Project Manager