Malheur National Wildlife Refuge
Pacific Region
 

Get Involved


Become a member of our Friends Group

The Friends of Malheur National Wildlife Refuge was formed in 1999 and is an independent, non-profit 501(c)(3) corporation committed to:

  • Conserving, enhancing, and restoring fish and wildlife habitat and cultural history in the Harney Basin in southeast Oregon through the support of Malheur National Wildlife Refuge staff and programs.

  • Assisting the Refuge in providing wildlife-dependent educational and recreational opportunities while enhancing public knowledge and appreciation of the Refuge mission.

  • Advocating for support of the Refuge and the National Wildlife Refuge System.

Learn about the Friends of Malheur National Wildlife Refuge.


Volunteer

“Our volunteers bring invaluable service to Malheur. Our staff agrees and we need dedicated volunteers who can come in with ‘new eyes and ears’ as well as positive ideas and enthusiasm.” Refuge Manager

 

Volunteers are a part of the management of Malheur National Wildlife Refuge. Volunteers play a vital role in helping the Refuge fulfill its mission of conserving, protecting and enhancing America’s fish and wildlife, their habitats and other resources by performing a wide variety of tasks on the Refuge.

If you are interested in becoming a volunteer, please contact our Visitor Services Manager at carey_goss@fws.gov. You can also call Malheur National Wildlife Refuge at 541-493-2612.

Volunteer Brochure
Volunteer Application
Citizen Science on the Refuge

 

VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITIES

 

 

A view of the visitor center at refuge headquarters

Visitors Center at Refuge Headquarters. Photo: David Lewis


Visitor Center and Gift Shop Volunteers – Welcoming visitors and orienting them to the Refuge’s outstanding features - diversity of wildlife, signs of earlier inhabitants, scenic landscape and solitude – is one of the public use goals of the Refuge. Visitor Center and Gift Shop volunteers will often do a wide range of tasks in the visitor center and gift shop located at Refuge headquarters to help achieve this goal. The primary task is to staff the visitor center, greet the public, answer questions, operate the gift shop and provide information about the Refuge to visitors. Volunteers may also work on special projects in conjunction with the Administrative Assistant.
Minimum Commitment: 4 weeks
Time Frame: March – October

Maintenance Volunteers – The maintenance program is tasked with a variety of projects which help all the programs on the Refuge, primarily public use and fish and wildlife management. Maintenance volunteers will often do a wide range of diverse jobs under the maintenance program to assist the maintenance staff with day-to-day tasks, including maintaining facilities and assisting with aspects of the visitor services program.
Minimum Commitment: 4 weeks
Time Frame: March – October

Roving Docents – The Refuge provides plentiful opportunities for wildlife viewing, observing nature, and photographing wildlife. Roving docents perform a wide range of tasks under the visitor services program, including travelling on the 42-mile Blitzen Valley auto tour to greet the public, answer questions, provide information about the Refuge to visitors and assist with wildlife observation and/or photography.
Minimum Commitment: 4 weeks
Time Frame: March – May

Interpretive Guides and Naturalists – Interpretation focuses on enhancing visitor experiences and promoting key values and features unique to the Refuge. Interpretive guides and naturalists will often perform a wide range of tasks under the visitor services program. The primary task is to provide guided tours to a variety of audiences for viewing wildlife and advance visitors understanding about the Refuge.
Minimum Commitment: 4 weeks
Time Frame: March – May, and August – September

 

docent at the historic sod house tour telling the story of the ranch to visitors

A docent at the Historic Sod House Ranch guides visitors on a tour of the ranch.


Historic Sod House Ranch Docents – In 1872 John “Peter” French came to the area and eventually settled in the Blitzen Valley. Today, the Refuge protects and manages several ranches established by Peter French that are open to the public. Historic Sod House Ranch docents perform a wide range of tasks at the 1880s historic ranch under the cultural resources program. The primary task is to staff the ranch’s contact station, greet the public, answer questions, conduct interpretive tours and provide information about the historic ranch and the Refuge to visitors.
Minimum Commitment: 6 weeks
Time Frame: August – October 15

Fish and Wildlife Management Volunteers – The Refuge is a tremendously important source of wildlife habitat for a variety of migratory birds and other wildlife. Fish and wildlife management volunteers will often do a wide range of diverse jobs under the fish and wildlife program. The primary task is to assist in carp control and fish sampling, conduct wildlife surveys, and complete habitat monitoring.
Minimum Commitment: 8 – 12 weeks
Time Frame: Dependent on project

TIME COMMITMENTS

To volunteer, a minimum commitment based on the volunteer opportunities highlighted above is required during any particular season. RV volunteers will be scheduled to volunteer for 24-hours per week. Volunteers using government housing will be scheduled to volunteer for 32-hours per week. A small reimbursement for every day worked is available to help with incidental expenses.

 

View of the volunteer RV park at refuge headquarters

A view of Malheur Lake with the Volunteer RV park in the foreground. Photo David Lewis.

Volunteer RV Park


Malheur National Wildlife Refuge has six level concrete pads within walking distance at Refuge Headquarters.

RV sites include:

  • Full hookups (water, sewage and 50 amps)
  • WiFi
  • Free laundry facilities
  • Fully equipped kitchen
  • Shower and restroom facility
  • Furnished dayroom and screened porch

GOVERNMENT HOUSING

Malheur National Wildlife Refuge does offer on-site housing for volunteers at Refuge headquarters and the P Ranch area.

Government housing includes:

  • Two or three bedroom houses
  • Fully furnished and equipped for living
  • WiFi
  • Free laundry facility
  • Satellite TV

APPLICATION

If you are interested in becoming a volunteer at Malheur National Wildlife Refuge, please complete a volunteer application and mail the application to:

Visitor Services Manager
Malheur National Wildlife Refuge
36391 Sodhouse Lane
Princeton, OR 97721

LINKS TO VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITIES

Building America’s Communities of Service is an interagency website to learn more about national volunteer opportunities of interest.

U.S. Fish & Wildlife Volunteers is an opportunity to find out more about available U.S. Fish & Wildlife volunteer opportunities and to learn more about past accomplishments under the program.

U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service Volunteer Program: Helping Us Help Wildlife is an opportunity to learn more about the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service’s volunteer program.

 

Last updated: December 12, 2012