Volunteer Land Steward Program

 

The Conservation Community (that's you!) has helped the INLC to conserve over 20,000 acres of the Inland Northwest to protect existing habitat from development! Now it's time to get to work enhancing those habitats and learning about our lands on the ground! One of the ways you can help enhance these protected lands is by becoming a Volunteer Land Steward. Stewards will design and complete restoration projects, educate public land users, and note wildlife, vegetative, and hydrologic trends on the land. 

 

 

The Volunteer Land Steward Program is a great fit for you, if:

  • You want to explore new places and enjoy being active in nature

  • You are interested in citizen science

  • You like taking initiative

  • You are good at educating the public on the work you're doing and how they can help the land too

  • You like working independently or as part of a small group

  • You want to be part of a strong stewardship community 

 

Volunteer Land Steward Program Manager

Rose Richardson

rrichardson@inlandnwland.org

(509)328-2939, Ext. 1318 (currently unavailable) 

 

 

Becoming a Steward

To become a steward, volunteers must complete a 2-hour training with INLC stewardship staff before they can steward a property. This training outlines the steward's role as INLC ambassadors, monitoring and reporting protocols, and safety in the field. 

 

Due to Covid-19-related gathering restrictions, the in-person training in April and October and have been replaced by a virtual training that can be completed almost entirely online. See below for training materials. 

 

 

Virtual Volunteer Land Steward Training Materials 

In response to Covid-19 restrictions, the Volunteer Land Steward training has been adapted into a virtual format. This training has four required phases - the first three of those phases can be completed entirely online! Please complete the following steps to become an official Volunteer Land Steward! 

 

 

Phase One: Watch the Volunteer Land Steward Training Presentation Video

In this presentation, we go into the nuts and bolts of the Volunteer Land Steward program, including: 

 

  • What is the INLC, and what makes us an accredited land trust? 

  • What are the roles and responsibilities of a Volunteer Land Steward? 

  • What is monitoring? What information are we trying to collect, and how do we use that information? 

  • How do we stay safe and prepare for field work? 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Phase Two: Watch the Virtual Monitoring of Rimrock to Riverside Video

This video will demonstrate several tools used in the field, and identify some examples of things we'd like to see in your monitoring reports: 

 

  • Apps: Avenza Maps (navigation), Dioptra (photos), WA Invasives (species reporting), and iNatutralist (species ID)

  • Property features: repeat areas, invasive species, native species, wetlands, potential projects, trails, and wildlife

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Phase Three: Select your Site!

When you've watched both of the videos above, please reach out to Rose Richardson (contact info above). Once you've shown interest in moving forward in the VLS program, you will receive:

 

  • A 2020 Field Liability Waiver

  • A Failure to Comply Agreement

  • A list of properties that are available to steward

  • A survey to take if you're not sure where you'd be a good fit

 

When we have recieved your completed paperwork and either a decision about which site you'd like, or a completed property-match survey, you'll receive a digital packet of information. If you've chosen a site you know and love, we'll send you only the information about that site. If you've taken a survey, we'll send you a couple of options and packets on both of them, so you can make an informed choice about which property you'd like to steward. These digital packets will include:

 

  • A baseline - an extensive inventory and description of the property

  • Avenza-compatible maps of the property

  • Photos

  • A monitoring report template (both a Word version, and a fillable PDF version) 

 

 

 

Phase Four: In-Person Orientation Site Visit

Given Covid-19-related restrictions, INLC staff are not permitted to meet with volunteers in the field at this time. When restrictions lift, and INLC feels it is a responsible decision to meet with you in the field, we will reach out to schedule an in-person site visit to complete your training and orientation. During this orientation site visit, we will:

 

  • Walk heavily used trails

  • Visit "hot spots", or areas that frequently have issues like trash, social trails, or weeds

  • Visit "photo points", or areas that are expected to change quite a bit and should be visited repeatedly

  • Go over Avenza Maps and provide extra assistence if needed

  • Meet with other stewards and land managers, if applicable. (depends on everyone's availability)

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35 W. Main Ave., Ste. 210

 Spokane, WA 99201

509.328.2939

info@inlandnwland.org

© Inland Northwest Land Conservancy 2020