Come Volunteer With Us!

Volunteer Categories

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+ Volunteer Lookout

Volunteer Lookout

Fire lookout volunteers work in conjunction with the primary Forest Service fire lookout to provide fire detection, radio communications and public information at fire lookout stations. By providing this service, they help to preserve the lookouts, protect wild lands and communities from catastrophic wildfires, increase public awareness, and create a desire among visitors to conserve and help care for public lands.


 · Be in good health.

 · Have good eyesight.

 · Be able to read a topographical map.

 · Feel comfortable talking on the radio.

 · Think quickly and calmly in emergency situations.

 · Need little supervision.

 · Ability to live/work in isolated areas for periods of time.

 · Friendly, courteous and professional with the visiting public.

 · Have a good attitude.

· Delilah Lookout –
Delilah is staffed exclusively using the Buck Rock Foundation Volunteer Lookout Program. Typicaly the first of our lookouts to open due to its lower elevation, Delilah often goes into service for the season over the Memorial Day weekend. There are plenty of opportunities here!

· Park Ridge Lookout –
After almost 10 years of closure, the Buck Rock Foundation opened up Park Ridge in September 2004 using volunteers for staffing. Our goal is to staff Park Ridge fulltime using the BRF volunteer program. Some volunteers from our previous years have laid claim to several days during the upcoming summer, but there is ample opportunity for you to help us staff Park Ridge.



· Have a strong commitment to the vision, mission, purpose and objectives of the Fire Lookout Volunteer program.
· Meet with the Forest Service and Park Service lookout administrator for orientation.
· Sign a volunteer agreement form with the Forest Service or the Park Service.
· Demonstrate the ability to contact National Forest and National Park visitors in a courteous, informed and positive manner.
· Complete required training provided for Fire Lookout Volunteers.
· Maintain your uniform in good condition and wear it while on duty.

Ways you can prepare at home:
· Check out a book on weather. Learn about weather patterns, thunderstorm activity and types of clouds.
· Learn the basics about map reading – Understand topography (recognize ridges, drainages, mountain tops and elevation topo lines) and legal locations (Township, Range and Section).
· Study a map of the area and get familiar with names of landmarks surrounding the lookout. Explore the territory of the lookout by driving nearby roads and hiking nearby trails.


· Bring a sleeping bag, pillow or pillow cover, towels and personal items.
· Bring drinking water and food supplies (Note: Essentials like dishes, utensils and cleaning supplies are available to use.) Facilities have non-potable water for washing.
· Cabinet space is available for storing personal belongs while you are at lookout.
· Binoculars are supplied but suggest you bring a pair if you have them.
· Lookouts have a refrigerator, a single bed, a sink, and a stove with an oven.
· Buck Rock and Park Ridge are electric, but the electricity has been known to go out! A candle and a flashlight are nice to have along. Delilah has propane so candles, oil lamps and a flashlight are a necessity.
· From time to time a mouse may scamper by, so we suggest storing food items in sealed containers.
· When your shift is over, leave the lookout as you found it – floor swept, trash emptied, dishes washed and put away, etc.

+ Fundraising And Public Relations

Fundraising And Public Relations / Docent

Public RelationsThe Buck Rock Foundation is a non profit corporation whose funding comes from grants, in-kind contributions, and the generous donations of money and materials from individuals and corporations.

All of our projects depend upon our ability to raise funds. Volunteers will work along side the Foundation’s Executive Director to find avenues of support that will enable us to achieve our goals. An important aspect to this is creating public awareness, so even talking about our Foundation helps us to reach people who may want to contribute.


Please read about our Docent Program to learn more about our Public Relations Volunteers. 



· The willingness to do it!

· Friendly with a good attitude

· Ability to convey the mission of the Foundation

· Good writing skills, good on the phone or good public speaking skills



· Grant research and writing

· Participation in events (i.e. staffing booths at fairs and festivals, selling raffle tickets)

· Seeking donations (making phone calls, writing letters)

· Event planning

· Creating and sending press releases to local media

+ Restoration Projects

Restoration Projects

Restoration ProjectMost fire lookouts are historically significant in that they are over 50 years old. You can imagine what happens to a building that sits perched alone for fifty years or more on top of a mountain, constantly being battered by the extreme conditions at that elevation: high winds, tons of snow, rodents seeking shelter, etc. Our lookouts are suffering from their unusual habitat and from years of neglect due to lack of funding and negligence. The Buck Rock Foundation works to maintain and restore the lookouts that remain standing in our National Forests and National Parks. How can you help?



· Willingness to take direction
· Ability to pound a nail, use small hand-tools, wield a paint brush
· Not afraid of heights
· In good physical condition
· Ability to lift heavy objects
· Ability to climb stairs

We are always looking for people who are experienced in preservation work as many of our projects need to stay within SHPO guidelines.


· Rebuild the trap door and catwalk at Breckenridge Lookout
· Replace the shutters at Breckenridge Lookout
· Replace the door at Tobias Lookout
· Help rewire the lightning protection systems at Buck Rock and The Needles (climbing experience necessary).
· Replace numerous windows and window frames at various lookouts (including Buck Rock and Jordan Peak.)
· Build a picnic table for Bald Mountain Lookout
· Replace the windows at Bald Mountain Lookout with non-glare glass


· Free camping near project work site
· Rustic conditions (usually an outhouse and no running potable water)
· Sometimes food will be provided, but not always
· Restoration usually includes foundation work, replacing siding, painting, re-roofing, replacing windows and window frames, caulking, and deck building.

+ Historic Collecting and Archiving

Historic Collecting and Archiving

Very Old Photo of Buck Rock LookoutOne of the first steps the Foundation took in our quest to preserve the history of fire lookouts, was to put out notices in local rags requesting photos and information about our local lookouts. The first person to contact us was Viola Kanawyer Parker, of the pioneer Kanawyer family, whose name graces many landmarks in Sequoia and Kings Canyon. Viola’s husband Walker, just happened to be a fire lookout from 1927 to 1941 and staffed at least five different lookouts, some of which no longer stand. What a find! Since that time, we have collected many more photos and documents which all need to be archived in a professional manner. And we are still in pursuit of documenting evidence of any of the lookouts - both the people that staffed them and the buildings themselves – past and present and the history that surrounds them.



· An interest in history
· Good organizational qualities
· Patience!


· Help organize our current inventory of photos, newspaper articles, and other documents
· Help create displays of artifacts for a future information center/museum space and for display at our lookouts, Forest Service offices, etc.
· Help with editing a book about Sequoia Forest Fire Lookouts
· Continue to pursue avenues of historic information and research about fire lookouts especially in Central California.

+ Education and Interpretation

Education and Interpretation

Children Learning About FirePart of the mission of the Buck Rock Foundation is to encourage preservation and stewardship of fire lookouts, historic structures and public lands through education and interpretation. One of the ways we do this is by hosting a summer series of interpretive programs held at Buck Rock Lookout called “Sunset at Buck Rock”. Volunteers gather with campers and locals and speak on subjects that have to do with local history and nature. The talks are held below the lookout, usually last between 45 minutes and one hour, and should be inclusive of all age groups. After the talk, visitors are invited to climb the stairs at Buck Rock to view sunset. Past subjects of talks include: “Bears”, “The Night Sky”, “The Whitney Party Comes To Big Meadows”, and “Evans and Sontag – Bandits of the Southern Sierra.”.


Fire Puppet ShowWe are in the process of creating a Children’s Educational Outreach Program geared towards students in grades 6-12. This program will place emphasis on teaching kids about our local natural history and conservation issues as viewed from Buck Rock Lookout. Our hope is to provide instructors (paid or volunteer depending upon our ability to raise funds) who will guide children through a series of lessons learned by going to Buck Rock, which they then will be able to continue to study on their own or through the classroom. Learning about geology, fire ecology, wildlife, logging history, weather, and the giant sequoia all can be connected with a visit to Buck Rock Lookout.



· Ability to speak in public
· Experience teaching (for the children’s educational outreach program)
· Some knowledge of Sequoia National Forest or Kings Canyon/Sequoia National Park and surrounding area or a subject related to this area.
· Be able to provide your own transportation
· Ability to keep personal political attitudes to yourself (!)


· Be a guest speaker one night or more for our “Sunset at Buck Rock” program during the summer.
· Teach groups of kids for our Children’s Educational Outreach Program at Buck Rock.