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. 

One of our volunteers during the 2012 field season hiking with a full pack and camping with a sheep band. Photo credit: Defenders of Wildlife/C. Silva

One of our volunteers during the 2012 field season hiking with a full pack and camping with a sheep band. Photo credit: Defenders of Wildlife/C. Silva

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

If volunteering interests you, please check out our Volunteer ProtocolLiability Waiver, and other documents on our Resources page. If you would like to be considered to be a WRWP volunteer, please fill out the Volunteer Application below. Direct questions to Greg Hill, Project Coordinator, greg@woodriverwolfproject.org

Thank you!


Volunteer Application

Name *
Phone *
Preferably a cell phone that receives texts. If you prefer to be reached at another number, please specify in the Message section
Contact preferences *
Do you prefer to be contacted via email, phone call, or text? Check all that apply.
Do you live in the Wood River Valley of Idaho? *
If you don't live in the Wood River Valley, do you have some place to stay and means to support yourself? *
Do you have a car with 4WD? *
Spanish proficiency *
Volunteer activities *
What kind of volunteer activities are you most interested in participating in?
What is your availability between June and October? *
How did you hear about the Wood River Wolf Project?
By submitting this form, I agree that I have read the Volunteer Protocol and Liability Waiver. *