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Get Involved--Volunteer!

Volunteers 2012From its start in 1903, the National Wildlife Refuge System has owed its very existence to concerned citizens eager to protect America's natural resources. Over 100 people volunteer their time to the Sacramento National Wildlife Refuge Complex every year. Whether they work on the land, assist visitors in the visitor center, or with youth, they contribute to the conservation mission that reaches back more than a century. Become a volunteer to contribute your strength on behalf of America’s natural resources.

What do volunteers do at Sacramento NWRC?

The Complex welcomes volunteers in a variety of areas and on all refuges. Individual volunteers must be at least 16 years old (with parental permission). See below for the volunteer application. All volunteers will be interviewed and screened to find the right fit for refuge and the volunteer. Field work opportunities for small groups/organizations are available. See a list of potential projects.

Opportunities include:

  • Rove the auto tour routes, platforms, and trails
  • Greet visitors and provide information
  • Assist naturalists with presentations
  • Lead a tour on our trails or auto route
  • Take part in education programs and special events
  • Operate the visitor center and bookstore
  • Assist with office duties
  • Maintain trails and plant trees
  • Assist with bird banding, plant studies, and airboat surveys
  • Work with computers and other technical equipment
  • Assist with the hunting program and youth hunting events
  • Assist with habitat management by mowing and discing
  • Assist maintenance staff in painting, grounds keeping, etc
  • Assist with servicing automotive equipment
  • Help with numerous other refuge activities
  • What unique interests, skills, and talents do you have to offer?

2014 Opportunities

The Complex is looking for volunteers to assist the Visitor Services program for the next winter season (October - March). Please apply during the summer prior. Opportunities for full or part of the season are available. Housing is available in the bunkhouse (must work at least 3 months). Currently, the refuge is looking for interns to assist with the hunt program, educational activities, and the visitor services program (click on title for position descriptions). Do you have unique skills that might be needed? Contact the Complex for more information.

  • Work at Sacramento, Colusa, and Sacramento River NWRs providing visitors with information about the Complex and its resources.
  • Provide interpretive services to visitors which include working the visitor center and bookstore, providing helpful and accurate information, maintaining visitor facilities, assisting with tours and educational programs, assisting with the waterfowl hunt program, and facilitating special events.
  • See photos of volunteers at the Complex.
  • More information about housing posted at (find by searching the city/state = Willows, CA).

Live in the Local Area?

  • Contact the Refuge to see what you can help do!
  • Assist with the visitor center, weekend programs, auto tour, trails, special events, field maintenance, or more!
  • Flexible schedule and can vary by your interest, skills, and talents.

Benefits Of Volunteering Include:

  • Orientation and training by refuge staff
  • Flexible schedule
  • Educating people of all ages
  • Knowing that you are valuable to the management of our Nation's fish and wildlife resources
  • Being part of a great team and having lots of fun!
Help protect wetlands and wildlife right on your refuges!

How to Apply:

To apply to become a volunteer, please fill out the following: volunteer application (pdf, 560 KB) and the Sacramento National Wildlife Refuge Complex's application (pdf). Contact the volunteer coordinator for more information at (530) 934-2801 or

Page Photo Credits — USFWS
Last Updated: Dec 28, 2013
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