Conserving the Nature of America
Press Release
Volunteers Give Their Time to Pass On Conservation Through U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

April 26, 2017

Contact(s):

Brent Lawrence, brent_lawrence@fws.gov or (503)231-6211


Volunteers of all ages play an important role at the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Here, they are planting native plants at Finley National Wildlife Refuge in Oregon.

Volunteers of all ages play an important role at the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Here, they are planting native plants at Finley National Wildlife Refuge in Oregon. Credit: USFWS

PORTLAND, Oregon - There’s tons of adages about the importance of volunteers. They’re often referred to as the “life-blood” or the “backbone” of many organizations.  

Volunteers play a significant role for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Our volunteers are sharers of knowledge, and givers of life.  Individual volunteers may be the smiling face when you first arrive at a National Wildlife Refuge, or they may be ensuring the next generation of salmon by helping with spawning at a National Fish Hatchery. 

Together, volunteers in the Pacific Region of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service are an amazing force. The numbers from 2016 tell the story: Volunteers donated 230,919 hours of their time to make the public’s experience better.

That equates to 111 full-time workers. There were 15,129 individuals who donated the equivalent of 28,864 eight-hour work days to you -- the American public -- by showing up to help at your National Wildlife Refuges and National Fish Hatcheries in Idaho, Oregon, Washington, Hawaii and the Pacific Islands. They do it because they want to pass on a tradition of conservation and wildlife to future generations.

“Words can’t fully express our appreciation and gratitude to our volunteers,” said Robyn Thorson, the Service’s Pacific Regional Director. “Each one of them gives us – and you – their precious time. That’s time away from family and friends, and time away from work. We can’t say ‘thank you’ enough to show our gratitude to our volunteers. Each one makes every experience more memorable at a refuge or hatchery. Volunteers are our champions and illustrate how we’re connected to our local communities.” 

This week is National Volunteer Week (April 23-April 29) and the Service’s Pacific Region is celebrating our volunteers by sharing some of their stories with the public. You’ll read about people like Karen Yochem, who has a cumulative total of 18,821 volunteer hours since 1993 (that’s 9 years of full-time volunteer service), or the husband-and-wife team of Keith and Brenda Krejci, who travel all across the nation to volunteer. Check them out on our Tumblr blog, Facebook page and Twitter feed.

To volunteer, contact your local National Wildlife Refuge or Fish and Aquatic Conservation station or hatchery. You can also email our regional volunteer coordinator Chelsea McKinney at Chelsea_McKinney@fws.gov for more information.


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. We are both a leader and trusted partner in fish and wildlife conservation, known for our scientific excellence, stewardship of lands and natural resources, dedicated professionals, and commitment to public service. For more information on our work and the people who make it happen, visit www.fws.gov.

For more information on our work and the people who make it happen, visit http://www.fws.gov/. Connect with our Facebook page, follow our tweets, watch our YouTube Channel and download photos from our Flickr page.