Desolation Wilderness

Seeking Desolation Wilderness Volunteers

Written by Tom Trelengerg

Lake Tahoe Basin Mgmt Unit Seeking hard-working, dedicated volunteers who love working outdoors, educating wilderness visitors

SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, Calif. – Do you love the wilderness? Are you committed to preserving its’ breathtaking beauty? Do you love working with people and spending time in the outdoors? Can you match your motive for volunteering with the mission and priorities of the Forest Service? Most importantly, do you have the time, willingness and dedication to volunteer and help preserve our most popular back-country natural area near Lake Tahoe?

If so, the USDA Forest Service Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit (LTBMU) may offer exactly what you’re looking for. The LTBMU is looking for hard-working, dedicated volunteers who love working outdoors, educating wilderness visitors, performing monitoring or administrative duties, and are interested in preserving one of our nation’s most beautiful wilderness areas, the Desolation Wilderness. 

Those committed to volunteering are invited to attend an informational wilderness volunteer workshop on Saturday, May 18, 2019, from 8 – 4 p.m. at the Forest Supervisor’s office, 35 College Drive, South Lake Tahoe, CA  96150. This workshop will provide information about different volunteer opportunities, along with wilderness history and ethics, volunteer training, and how volunteer help is important to the future and preservation of the Desolation Wilderness.

Desolation Wilderness is approximately 64,000 acres of pristine sub-alpine and alpine forest, granite peaks, and glacially-formed valleys and lakes situated in the Crystal Range of the Sierra Nevada, southwest of the Lake Tahoe Basin. Desolation Wilderness was designated in 1969, under The Wilderness Act, and has protections in place that aim to preserve this remarkable place for future generations.

Volunteers work closely with Forest Service wilderness staff and can choose from a variety of project based activities including visitor education, wilderness staff support for office and field projects, back-country trail maintenance, campsite restoration, and wilderness character monitoring. Field projects involve hiking in moderate to difficult terrain and require an appropriate level of physical ability. 

Volunteers should be able to commit to a minimum of seven days for the summer season and must be age 18 years or older. Desolation Wilderness volunteer experience is meaningful and looks great on federal and other employment applications. Additional information on the Desolation Wilderness volunteer program is available at

For more information, contact the LTBMU Wilderness Program Manager, Don Lane at 530-543-2621.


Photo caption:  Desolation Wilderness volunteer opportunities include conducting trail maintenance, educating visitors, performing administrative duties, and much more!  Photo credit:  Les Thomas, Desolation Wilderness Ambassador.

The mission of the U.S. Forest Service, part of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, is to sustain the health, diversity and productivity of the nation’s forests and grasslands to meet the needs of present and future generations. The agency manages 193 million acres of public land, provides assistance to state and private landowners, and maintains the largest forestry research organization in the world. Public lands the Forest Service manages contribute more than $13 billion to the economy each year through visitor spending alone. Those same lands provide 20 percent of the nation’s clean water supply, a value estimated at $7.2 billion per year. The agency has either a direct or indirect role in stewardship of about 80 percent of the 850 million forested acres within the U.S., of which 100 million acres are urban forests where most Americans live.

USDA is an equal opportunity provider, employer, and lender.

About the author

Tom Trelengerg

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