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Mountain-Prairie Region
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Get Involved – Your Role in Conserving Wildlife and Wild Places


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There are many ways to help us conserve wildlife and wild places, including becoming a volunteer, joining a Friends organization, and even having a career with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.  Learn more about our work and how you can participate in our efforts.

Click here to find out more about Youth Opportunities.

Volunteer for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service »

  • Bison calf and cow. Credit: Rich Keen/ RMA.
  • Photo of Sandhill Cranes at the Monte Vista National Wildlife Refuge. Photo Credit Mark A. Bauer USGS.
  • Deer and Rocky Mountains. Credit: Rich Keen / RMA

Imagine getting to help band birds on a national wildlife refuge, raise fish at a national fish hatchery, conduct wildlife surveys, lead a birding tour, or restore prairie grasslands.

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service volunteers do just that – they give generously of their time and expertise, and they get to help first‐hand with conserving our nation’s wildlife and habitats. In fact, each year, more than 50,000 people volunteer.

Who Are Our Volunteers?

Our volunteers are people who want to give back to their communities and are interested in the work of a refuge, hatchery, or other Service program. They are parents who want to model environmental stewardship, retirees willing to share a wealth of knowledge and experience, outdoor enthusiasts wishing to spread the word about America’s great natural treasures, and concerned citizens of all ages interested in making meaningful contributions while learning about conservation. Whether it is an environmental ethic, a love of bird watching, or enthusiasm for the outdoors, our volunteers gather to share their passions while contributing to the good of their communities.

What Do Our Volunteers Do?

Volunteers perform a variety of tasks. They conduct fish and wildlife population surveys, band birds, lead tours and educational activities for school groups and other visitors, do laboratory research, manage cultural resources, perform administrative duties, work with computers and other technical equipment, maintain service facilities, and much more. Some volunteers work full time, others work a few hours a week or month, and still others work at special events several times a year. We make sure to match our volunteers’ talents, interests, and availability with the work that needs to be done.

How Can You Find Out About Volunteer Opportunities?

Volunteer positions with the Service are posted at You may also contact the field office where you would like to volunteer. For more information about the Service’s volunteer program, visit

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Friends Organizations »

  • Photo of Sandhill Cranes at the Monte Vista National Wildlife Refuge. Photo Credit Mark A. Bauer USGS.

Friends organizations are private, independent, community‐based, nonprofit organizations made up of citizen volunteers. Friends organizations support the mission and purposes of a national wildlife refuge or other U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service office. There are more than 200 Service Friends organizations across the country. Some support single refuges or hatcheries, while others are connected to several refuges or an entire state.

What do Friends Organizations Do?

Friend’s organizations are crucial to the Refuge System’s mission of conserving and protecting the wildlife of this great nation. From its start in 1903, the Refuge System has owed its very existence to concerned citizens eager to protect America’s natural resources. Friends help millions of Americans understand that their actions today determine the legacy we leave for tomorrow, and they are inspiring a new generation of conservationists.

These important allies assist their field stations by educating local communities and elected officials, encouraging community participation in programs and building long‐term support. They raise funds and offer volunteer staff to do work that might otherwise go undone. They help with education programs and special events. Friends are an essential link to the community to promote land stewardship. They give time, skills and resources for wildlife conservation.

Learn More

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Youth Employment »

Youth Conservation Corps Program

Law enforcement officers. Credit: USFWS.

Youth Conservation Corps Program. Credit: USFWS.

The Youth Conservation Corps (YCC) Program is a summer employment program for youth who are 15‐18 years old. The YCC youth get the opportunity to both learn about wildlife conservation and help with on‐the‐ground projects. Work can include trail building, improving wildlife habitat, posting boundary signs, invasive plant control, bird banding, simple construction, office work, and general maintenance activities.

The YCC employment period is during the summer months, and is usually 8 weeks long. Youth generally work a 40‐hour week for the 8‐week period. After their summer on a YCC crew, youth leave with a first‐hand experience of the work done by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to conserve wildlife and habitat.

Learn More

Youth Partnerships Program

 Credit: USFWS.

Youth Partnerships Program. Credit: USFWS.

Through partnerships with various youth corps organizations, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is helping to develop the next generation of conservation stewards. Using cooperative agreements to work with 21st Century Conservation Service Corps members, we employ young people in all eight states of the Mountain‐Prairie Region.

Corps members are welcomed with open arms by U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service staff. To help corps members develop as individuals and professionals and to position them for future employment, staff mentor them in areas ranging from technical skills to career opportunities. After learning the specifics of various management practices and the wide‐ranging responsibilities for stewardship, these young people can contribute to many facets of our work, including habitat restoration and management, endangered species recovery, biological surveys, environmental education, GIS/GPS mapping projects, and much more.

Current Partners in the Mountain‐Prairie Region Youth Partnership Program:

Conservation Corps Minnesota and Iowa ‐

Groundwork Denver ‐

Mile High Youth Corps ‐

Montana Conservation Corps ‐

Student Conservation Association ‐

Utah Conservation Corps -


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Careers with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service »

Are you ready to join thousands of people just like you who have discovered the joy of working for wildlife?

If so, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service offers you unparalleled experiences to conserve the nature of America on some of the most beautiful and awe‐inspiring lands in our nation. From Alaska’s tundra to Maine’s rocky coastline, from the desert southwest to the prairies, our national wildlife refuges, wetland management districts, national fish hatcheries, ecological services field stations, and law enforcement offices offer opportunities to shape your future while working for conservation.

Meet Your New Boss

Learn More


The mission of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is working with Others to conserve, protect, and enhance fish, wildlife, plants and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American People.
Last modified: March 01, 2021
All Images Credit to and Courtesy of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Unless Specified Otherwise.
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