Volunteer opportunities available for wildlife habitat projects in Southwest Idaho

Interested in helping Idaho Fish and Game with wildlife conservation projects and events? Become a volunteer!

Fish and Game volunteers play a valuable role fulfilling a variety of functions from planting seeds and native shrubs for restoration and rehabilitation projects, to promoting public education, involvement and wildlife viewing.

The Fish and Game Southwest Region has several opportunities during late summer and fall where people can help maintain, rehabilitate, restore and create wildlife habitat in the area. 

To volunteer, contact Michael Young at michael.young@idfg.idaho.gov, Karie Pappani at karie.pappani@idfg.idaho.gov, or call (208) 854-8993.

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Kirsten Severud

Native Plant Monitoring for Habitat Restoration

Collect data on plant survival and condition and observe restoration efforts in progress.

Where: Southwest Region fire restoration sites near Boise and Marsing.
When: September 4, 11, 12, 18, 19, 25, and 26. Weekdays, generally 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Logistics: Transportation provided from the Idaho Fish and Game Garden City or Nampa office.
Number of Volunteers Approximately 3-5 volunteers for each monitoring day.

Woman measuring plants
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Idaho Fish and Game

Idaho Salmon and Steelhead Days

This three-day celebration is designed to increase awareness and appreciation for salmon and steelhead resources among the Treasure Valley's fifth grade students. We do this by directing our focus to hands-on outdoor learning programs that teach students the biology, history, and economic and cultural significance of fish and fishing. Volunteers can participate by assisting at various stations, including Gyotaku (Japanese fish painting), Salmon Maze (salmon life history), Ecology Station, Living River (river dynamics display), and Kids in the Creek (aquatic ecology).

Where: MK Nature Center
When: September 4, 5, and 6, from 8:45 a.m. to 1 p.m. Training will be provided for the volunteer guides every morning at 8:45 a.m.
Contact: Margaret Anderson at (208) 287-2901
Number of Volunteers: As many as possible

South Fork Salmon River Trail Erosion Project Maintenance

Maintain trails at the popular fishing recreation area including seedling planting, wood structure maintenance, and litter clean-up.

Where: Meet at the Idaho Fish and Game Garden City or Nampa office.
When: Thursday, September 5
Logistics: Transportation provided. Plan for travel to the site.
Number of Volunteers: 10

Hixon Sharptail Preserve Fence Removal

Help Idaho Fish and Game finish removing a burned out fence from the Keithley Fire. The new fence will be realigned on the correct property boundary which is a win for wildlife.

Where: Meet at our Garden City or Nampa office.
When: Thursday, September 19
Logistics: Transportation provided. Plan for travel to the site. Bring old long pants and long sleeves to protect yourself from barbed wire/skin encounters, and come prepared with food and water.
Number of Volunteers: 10 to 15

Boise Riversweep

Clean up litter left at public access areas.

Where: Idaho Fish and Game and public right-of-way access sites from Eagle to the confluence of the Snake River near Parma.
When: Saturday, September 28
Logistics: Trash bags and gloves will be provided.
Number of Volunteers: 30 to 40

Cascade Strand Project: Riparian Habitat Restoration

Plant native shrubs to rehabilitate streambanks along the North Fork Payette River

Where: Cascade, 1.5 hours north of Boise.
When: September 24 
Logistics: Tools and transportation provided: plan on a 10 hour day.
Number of Volunteers: 10 to 20 each day.

Volunteers working along a riverbank
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Idaho Fish and Game

Intermountain Bird Observatory

Help biologists with owl, hawk, and songbird monitoring, trapping and data collection. Intermountain Bird Observatory, a cooperative, non-profit research and education organization, conducts long-term monitoring of western migratory land bird populations and promotes public education, involvement and wildlife viewing.

Where: Research site located on Boise River Wildlife Management Area at Lucky Peak.
When: August-October. Seven days a week.
Logistics: A four-wheel drive vehicle is necessary to negotiate the road on the WMA
Number of Volunteers: 1 to 3, seven days/week. Call or email for more information. Visit the
Intermountain Bird Observatory website.

MK Nature Center

The MK Nature Center offers a glimpse of Idaho’s landscapes and abundant wildlife – right in the middle of Boise. Volunteer positions include teacher – interpreter, host, gardener, and more.

Where: MK Nature Center
When: Year-round.
Logistics: Training provided. Contact Vicky Runnoe at vicky.runnoe@idfg.idaho.gov or (208) 287-2874.

Hunter Education Instructors

Teach hunter education to youth and adults.

Where: Southwest Idaho
When: Year-round
Logistics: Call Jaime Creson at (208) 327-7159 for the Boise area, or Derek Fong at (208) 465-8465 for the Nampa-Caldwell areas.

Native Shrub Planting

Plant bitterbrush and sagebrush grown from seed collected by Idaho Fish and Game volunteers last fall to aid in restoration efforts following fires.

Where: Boise Foothills fires in Boise and the Keithley Fire near Weiser
When: Saturdays and a couple weekdays, Oct. 22 and 26, and Nov. 2, 9, 14, and 16
Logistics: Tools, gloves and some transportation provided.
Number of Volunteers: 20 to 50 each day.
Related information: Volunteers jumpstart wildlife habitat restoration after a wildfire burned in 2018

Pieces of wood and a rock
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Idaho Fish and Game

Sagebrush Seed Collection

Collect sagebrush seed for habitat restoration of burned areas. Birds, reptiles, and mammals depend upon sagebrush habitat for food, cover and nesting habitat. Sagebrush is a woody shrub whose deep roots protect soils from erosion. Millions of acres of sagebrush communities have vanished from the West. Volunteers help with restoration of sagebrush by collecting seed.

Where: Sites in southwest Idaho
When: Saturdays, November 16 and 23, December 7 and 14, and possibly some weekdays
Logistics: Transportation and tools are provided.
Number of Volunteers: 25 to 100 each day.

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Kirsten Severud