Ways to Get Involved

Volunteer Opportunities:

The Sacramento National Wildlife Refuge Complex welcomes volunteers in a variety of areas and on all of our refuges. Individual volunteers must be at least 16 years old (with parental permission). See below for information of the different types of volunteer opportunities, and how to apply. All volunteers will be interviewed and screened to find the right fit for refuge and the volunteer. Field work opportunities for small groups/organizations are available.  Position availability may vary annually with changes in staffing and funding.

To Apply: visit our Job and Volunteer Descriptions page.  Contact the Visitor Services Manager for more information at sacramentovalleyrefuges@fws.gov or (530) 934-2801. 

  • Team Native Plants Volunteer - Help plant, maintain native plants around the visitor center, trails, etc. Volunteers needed between February - September.
  • Team Monarch Volunteer - Help monitor milkweed and monarch eggs, caterpillars, and adults, test of O.e. and tag adults. Volunteers needed May - September.
  • Visitor Services Volunteer - Assist the visitor services staff in providing opportunities for visitors to visit and understand the mission/goals of the Complex and USFWS. A wide range of activities including interacting with visitors, presenting programs, roving the auto tours, working the visitor center and more!! Volunteers needed October - March. Applications accepted March - July for following winter.
  • Grounds/Maintenance Volunteer - Maintain the grounds and facilities around the visitor center, trails, kiosks, and platforms on the Complex. Volunteers needed late February - early June. Applications accepted August - November for the following spring/summer.  
  • Local Groups - Have a group and want to volunteer? Learn about some of the possibilities
  • Other Opportunities to Volunteer:

    • Rove the auto tour routes, platforms, and trails on several refuges
    • Greet visitors and provide information
    • Lead a tour on our trails or auto tour
    • Take part in education programs and special events
    • Operate the visitor center and bookstore
    • Assist with office duties
    • Maintain trails and plant trees
    • Assist with bird banding, plant studies, and airboat surveys (intermittent opportunities)
    • Assist with the hunting program and youth hunting events
    • Assist with habitat management by mowing and disking
    • Assist maintenance staff in painting, grounds keeping, etc
    • Assist with servicing automotive equipment
    • What unique interests, skills, and talents do you have to offer?

Employment Opportunities:

The Sacramento National Wildlife Refuge Complex has a variety of seasonal employment opportunities on all of our refuges. From wildland firefighting, to working with visitors and school groups, there are a variety of work experiences at the Complex. See below for descriptions of our seasonal employment opportunities, and how to apply.  Position availability may vary annually with changes in staffing and funding.

  • Visitor Services Assistant  - Paid internship at the Complex through California Waterfowl.  Intern works with the visitor services program and assist visitors, lead environmental education programs, and more. Work 40 hours per week from mid-September - end of March. Applications accepted May 1 – August 20 until position is filled
    To Apply: visit our Job and Volunteer Descriptions page.
  • Hunt Program Assistant - Paid internship at the Complex through California Waterfowl.  Intern works with our hunt program that receives over 20,000 hunters per year. Work approximately 3 days per week. 
    To Apply: visit our Job and Volunteer Descriptions page. Applications accepted March - June/July.
  • Turkey Hunt Program Assistant - Paid internship at the Complex through the National Wild Turkey Federation. Assistant is responsible for maintaining hunt area and staff the check station during spring turkey season. Work 4 - 5 days per week from March - May.
    To Apply: visit our Job and Volunteer Descriptions page. Applications accepted December - January. 
  • Wildland Firefighter (Range/Forestry Aid/Technician) - Paid position from April - August/September (not to exceed 6 months); 40+ hrs/week; GS-4 - GS-5 Serve as a member of a wildland firefighting crew. Assist with fire prevention, suppression, and prescribed burns. Must be able to pass a pre-employment physical examination and must be able to pass the work capacity fitness test (carry a 45 lb. pack for 3 miles within 45 minutes). May work on fires around the country. 
    To Apply: Go to USA Jobs online. Positions typically posted December - January. Contact sacramentovalleyrefuges@fws.gov or (530) 934-2801 for more information.


Housing for winter residential volunteers and interns:  

The Complex sometimes has space in the bunkhouse or RV pads (must work at least 3-4 months depending on the position). Limited housing available fall/winter. Available for internships and winter residential volunteers. RV pads have water, electric, and propane; we do not have sewage but do pay to get trailers dumped once per week. Bunkhouse has laundry, a double kitchen, wireless internet, and restrooms available for all residents.

Friends of the Sacramento National Wildlife Refuge:

The Friends of Sacramento National Wildlife Refuge was formed in early 2020 by a group of individuals passionate about the Sacramento National Wildlife Refuge Complex who recognize the importance of the Complex to the region as well as the ongoing need for additional resources. Their mission is to work in partnership with the Sacramento National Wildlife Complex and the public to maintain and expand wildlife observation, education and all forms of recreational opportunities to a broader audience in this important asset of the Central Valley of Northern California.

Find out more about how you can help on their website (www.friendsofsnwr.org), or check out their Facebook and Instagram pages.