Join Forest Watch and become a better friend of the forest

Forest Watch Volunteers provide information to the public and report any safety concerns. Photo: Greg Mackey, DNR.
Forest Watch Volunteers provide information to the public and report any safety concerns. Photo: Clay Graham, Eastern Washington Adventures.

Did you know that the Washington State Department of Natural Resources (DNR) has only 36 recreation employees to assist visitors on 2.2 million acres of state trust lands? As dedicated as these staff are to providing an enriching recreation experience, these limited numbers are not able to assist every visitor in the forest.

This is why the Forest Watch Program is critical in providing visitor information and reporting safety concerns.

Join DNR’s Forest Watch Program and become a resource of friendly information for forest visitors while learning new skills.

What do Forest Watch volunteers do?
• Provide information to visitors.
• Monitor and observe trails, sites, and facilities.
• Report safety concerns and suspicious or criminal activities.

“We plan daylight patrols and set up stations at the common entrances into the area. We have tread-lightly information, and other brochures about helping to keep the forest open for the community to enjoy. We also have spill kits available, and encourage people to have one on hand in case they need it.”
Elizabeth Wells, Forest Watch volunteer

What are the goals of Forest Watch?
• Create a responsible presence in the forest.
• Prevent unsafe activities.
• Educate the public on safe and sustainable recreation.

“To me, forest watch means saving the forest for future generations.”
 Ronald Coleman, Forest Watch Volunteer

 Why should I become a Forest Watch Volunteer?
• Improve recreation trails, sites, and facilities.
• Learn new skills and information.
• Meet others with a passion for outdoor recreation.
• Enhance your resume.

“I became a Forest Watch volunteer officially a few years ago. It all began when I would go to the Ahtanum State Forest area with my father fishing and camping. He taught me to take care of the land and respect nature. This was in the mid 1950s and the same concerns are present today with additional issues.”
Ron Rutherford, Forest Watch Volunteer

Want to find out more about becoming a Forest Watch volunteer? Join us at the following training events:

For more information, contact Ken Dean at 360-902-1701 or ken.dean@dnr.wa.gov or check out our webpage.

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