Non -Native Plant Eradication Volunteering -- Yosemite National Park

Last update:  June 2001

Disclaimer: This page and its content is presented on behalf of Resources Management, National Park Service, Yosemite National Park.  There is no association between this information and Native Habitats or between National Park Service and Native Habitats.

(Click here if you are interested in becoming a work group leader)

Thank you for your interest in volunteering in Yosemite!  This work is a lot of fun and very important -- we hope you can join us - volunteer help is needed for this project every summer.    Click here for 1998 season summary (stats, etc.).   This will give you an overview of the project results.  

No prior work experience is necessary, however ...for this project participants must be experienced cross-country hikers (day hiking only) in very good physical condition.   Elevations of work sites range from 4000 feet to over 7000 feet.  Daytime temperatures range from 70s F. to 90s F. with occasional higher temps.    (To volunteer for other  projects in Yosemite that are either more or less physically demanding, contact Tammie Power - Office of Special Uses, National Park Service, PO Box 577, Yosemite, CA 95389; phone 209-379-1850)

The work: Eradication of invasive non native plants in various sites throughout Yosemite National Park including Yosemite Valley, Mariposa Grove, Glacier Point  and more.
(Click here for a partial list of Yosemite's non native plants).

At all sites, ongoing "maintenance" is required to prevent colonies from re-establishing. Some work sites include uneven terrain and varied landscape; and include navigating windfall (downed trees) and occasional stream crossings. At no time will a volunteer be working alone. Work site elevations range from 3000' to over 7000'. In some areas, August daytime temperatures in the 70s to 90s F are typical. Travel is cross-country, often through dense & moist vegetation. Some work sites are near vehicle parking; others require a mile or a few miles hiking commute, carrying packs and tools. Plant seed heads are removed from plants, bagged & packed out from the site (if you can do the work but cannot pack out bags of seed heads, we still want you!!!). Foliage is left at the site.  At all sites, you will be surrounded by Yosemite's beauty!  Volunteers are responsible for their own First Aid supplies & knowledge.

Why: Invasive non-native plants displace native plants and therefore reduce the number of native plant and wildlife species. This eventually leads to an extremely unhealthy and biologically poor ecosystem; a "monoculture".  Invasive non-native plants are a major component of habitat loss.

Infrastructure: Work party volunteers are provided shared camping or a group campsite, generally in Yosemite Valley. The camping space is available  at noon the day before the first work day, and through noon of the day after the last work day (e.g., Friday noon through Monday noon for those working Saturday/Sunday).  Work party volunteers are provided free entry to Yosemite during the course of the work trip.

Work party volunteers are on their own for meals, showers, day packs, camping equipment, etc.  National Park Service provides vehicles, work gloves and tools, although I recommend bringing your favorite work gloves (finished leather, not rawhide) if you have them.  

Benefits: Improving the integrity of a native ecosystem in a place you love while camping with other dedicated people. The work sites are beautiful, and we have a lot of fun doing the work. Time not working can be spent as you otherwise would as a visitor to Yosemite.

Essential work gear you should bring: Day pack, long cotton or light nylon pants (please no shorts while working due to safety reasons), comfortable light-weight short or long sleeve shirt, sturdy shoes that may get wet, food & water for full day (3-4 quarts per person per day), sun protection (hat, sunscreen, lip balm), First Aid supplies, rain gear & favorite work gloves if you have them (NPS does provide work gloves and tools).  Also helpful: Gaiters (due to grass seed and morning dew or rain) and safety glasses for working in meadows (tall grasses!).  

Misc: Work days are generally a full day including travel to and from work sites. Length of day flexible depending on groups' needs (for people working a Saturday/Sunday schedule, it is common for people to work a half day on Sunday.)

The 2001 summer work season weekends are full.  There are still a few weekdays available as of this writing.  For more information please email with a subject line of "Yosemite Restoration".  This subject line must be included, to expedite your request and for the message to be forwarded to me in Yosemite once I move there for the season.  


Please copy, complete and return to the following with a subject line of "Yosemite restoration" to    (the subject line is important so that mail will be forwarded to me while I'm in Yosemite).

Name & Postal Address:

Email Address:

Home phone:  

Work phone if you need me to call you there:

First choice of dates to work:
Second choice of dates to work:
Third choice of dates to work:

Individuals are welcome! You are also welcome to coordinate a group (maximum 10 people). You do NOT need to be part of a group or organization to participate.  

Group/organization name (if there is one -- NOT necessary):

Number in group (a group of one is welcome!):

Where did you hear about this volunteer opportunity?

___newsletter (which org?)
___Email from Georgia Stigall
      (which distribution list?)
___Web site (which one?)
___Internet newsgroup (which one?)______________________
___Friend (name if available; not necessary)
___Other (please describe):  

Thank you!  And please remember to use a subject line of "Yosemite Restoration" when writing to me about this topic.  

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