One of the joys of living in a small, rural community is the ability to make a difference by volunteering. Whatever your interest, there is an organization that can use your skills and enthusiasm. Here are a few organizations who would welcome you as a volunteer.

Sierra Buttes Trail Stewardship

Sierra Buttes Trail Stewardship has a nearly cult following, attracting “Tribe” members from across the country and around the world. Their bike race festivals (Lost & Found Gravel Grinder, Downieville Downhill and Mountains to Meadows) are renowned in the biking world and their trail maintenance days (Trail Daze) have become annual vacations for many. The Stewardship could be the poster child for the saying, “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed, citizens can change the world.”

The stewardship has definitely changed the face of recreation tourism in the Lost Sierra. The new trails they build and the maintenance they do on existing trails draws bikers from far and wide to enjoy the “Dirt Magic” of the Lost Sierra. In addition, they are a source of employment for the local communities and they provide kids with trail experiences that foster a sense of service/volunteerism so these precious outdoor resources will continue to be cared for into future generations. There are many ways to volunteer and get involved with this fun-focused non-profit.

High Sierra Animal Rescue

High Sierra Animal Rescue is a no-kill shelter in Portola that rescues dogs that can be no longer held at county shelters. Started in 1999 by a local retiree, High Sierra has placed thousands of dogs into permanent homes. Animals in their care receive love and attention from trained personnel, medical care, behavioral assessment, socialization, obedience skills training as needed, and a safe temporary home. In addition to placing dogs for adoption, High Sierra also has a boarding facility where dogs receive the same loving care. Volunteers are always needed to exercise and play with shelter dogs and to help with fund raising events

Nakoma Education Fund

Nakoma Education Fund provides funds for educational programs at both C. Roy Carmichael Elementary School and Portola Junior-Senior High School. Funds are generated at an annual golf tournament held at Nakoma’s Dragon golf course which includes raffles and silent auctions. The tournament is held in early September each year. The NEF team is always looking to expand the number of participants in the tournament and can always use help with silent auction items. Contact the Nakoma Golf Shop for more information. 530-332-3333

Feather River Land Trust

Feather River Land Trust has been conserving lands and waters of the Feather River region since 2000. Through the dedication of their hard-working staff, they have protected over 54,000 acres of private land throughout the Lost Sierra, preserving biodiversity, agriculture lands, fisheries, and spectacular scenery.

In addition to the land protection program, the Trust also maintains, restores, and enhances land health and other publicly important conservation values like historic buildings and cultural resources so future generations can remain connected to their roots. This important work is ongoing and volunteers are always needed to help at Trust events and to participate in stewardship work days.