For Immediate Release: Tuesday, April 16, 2024


Lexi Black, Central Idaho Community Engagement Specialist, 206.345.6933 x 302

Applications open for the Idaho Conservation League’s Wilderness Stewards program

The volunteer program offers public lands enthusiasts an opportunity to give back to public lands and recreate with purpose in iconic areas of Central Idaho.

CENTRAL IDAHO — The Idaho Conservation League (ICL) is pleased to be accepting applications for another year of its volunteer Wilderness Stewards Program. The program provides great opportunities for passionate outdoor recreationists to give back to Idaho’s public lands in some of the state’s most iconic landscapes. 

Since 2016, the Wilderness Stewards program has helped restore, protect, and enhance wilderness character throughout some of central Idaho’s designated and recommended wilderness areas. These volunteers, called “Wilderness Stewards,” are trained and conduct independent patrols of the Cecil D. Andrus-White Clouds Wilderness, Craters of the Moon National Monument, Hemingway-Boulders Wilderness, Jim McClure-Jerry Peak Wilderness, Sawtooth Wilderness, and recommended Wilderness in the Sawtooth and Salmon-Challis National Forests. 

If you spend your summer recreating in Central Idaho’s beautiful Wilderness areas, and are concerned about the use, accessibility, and wildness of these spectacular places, this program is for you.

On independent patrols, Wilderness Steward volunteers serve as an extension of hands, ears, and eyes for land management agencies such as the U.S. Forest Service and the National Park Service, depending on the region of patrol. Wilderness Stewards are asked to conduct at least four patrols between June and September, but we encourage them to continue the work until the snow flies in the late fall. While on patrol, Wilderness Stewards tend to the character of our public lands by naturalizing backcountry campsites, clearing illegal fire rings, removing waste, and collecting data about trail use for our land management agencies. 

Additionally, Wilderness Stewards get the chance to do the crucial work of engaging with fellow recreators about the tenets of Leave No Trace and regional Wilderness regulations, helping to ensure a safe, enjoyable, and authentic wilderness experience for all.

Since the program’s inception in 2016, ICL’s Wilderness Stewards have:

  • Completed 1,143 patrols
  • Cleared or naturalized 710 illegal fire rings
  • Packed out 170 lbs of litter
  • Cleared 171 human waste issues
  • Engaged with 19,486 other trail users
  • Dedicated 13,596 hours (the equivalent of 1.55 years of continuous effort) to the betterment and stewardship of our public lands

If you’re looking to make a difference while recreating in Central Idaho’s beautiful public lands this summer, the Idaho Conservation League hopes that you’ll consider “recreating with purpose” as a Wilderness Steward.

To become a Wilderness Steward, please fill out this application by May 3rd, 2024. If you have any questions about the program, please feel free to email

Looking to get more involved than volunteering alone? This season, Idaho Conservation League is hiring a Wilderness Steward Program Organizer to assist in volunteer communications, data management, backcountry trip planning, and collaboration with ICL’s external partners in this program; particularly the U.S. Forest Service and the National Park Service. This is a three-month contract position, averaging 15 hours per week. For more information, visit