What does volunteering for the WRWP entail?
The success of the Wood River Wolf Project relies heavily on the participation of volunteers. The range of volunteer activities covers a wide variety of tasks, including, among many others, increasing human presence near sheep bands; ferrying supplies to herders; assisting with injured animals (sheep, guard dogs, herding dogs or horses); placing and picking up motion sensing cameras in the field and changing batteries and SD cards; data and photo entry; driving personnel; translating for the benefit of herders and field staff; and implementing other nonlethal deterrents.
While some of these activities obviously carry more risk than others, it is important to know what to expect when volunteering for the WRWP. Some of these activities might not be suitable for everyone, and it is important that all parties are aware of the capabilities of each volunteer and what is expected of them.
For the safety of all our volunteers and field staff we do not want inexperienced volunteers to bring unnecessary risk to the field by endangering themselves and others.
We will be hosting training sessions so that volunteers can learn how to use nonlethal tools and techniques.
Volunteer Requirements - Backcountry
- Must be able to hike while carrying 30 lbs of equipment
- Must have experience backpacking in the backcountry
- Must have proper clothing and personal equipment (see recommended gear list, below)
- Must have a positive attitude in difficult conditions
- Must read (in full) and sign Volunteer Liability Waiver before going into the field
- Knowledge of Basic First Aid
Additional Useful Qualifications
- Wilderness First Aid or Wilderness First Responder skills
- Spanish speaking skills (to communicate with the sheep herders who are mostly from Peru)
Volunteers going into the backcountry must be comfortable with the following activities:
- Navigating in the backcountry without cell service
- Hiking in the dark and possibly late at night
- Hiking and navigating in trail-less areas
- Backpacking up to 8 miles per day (likely at considerable altitude and over rough terrain)
- Hiking and camping under adverse conditions (cold, wind, snow, sleet, electrical storms, etc.)
- Exposure to potentially dangerous wildlife such as bears, mountain lions and other predators, occasionally at close quarters
- Being surrounded by livestock (more than 2,000 ewes and lambs), guard dogs, sheep dogs and horses
Volunteer Requirements - Office
For those not familiar or comfortable with backcountry travel, please consider volunteering for a variety of office duties, including data entry, database management, newsletter publications, and translations of documents and signage into Spanish, among others.
The office volunteer should demonstrate one or more of the following:
- Attention to detail
- Excel and Word skills
- Spanish language skills
- Writing Skills