Tuesday, April 5, 2011

CA DFG: Volunteer Academy or Cheap Labor?
The below press release breezed across my desk yesterday and before posting anything about it I wanted to ponder exactly what the DFG was offering. It peaked me interest, at first, but after reading more about the process on the website I am thinking otherwise.

My first impression is that this just appears to be a way for the DFG to get people to volunteer time to do office work. I am not saying that is exactly what it is, I am saying that is my impression. The times you can 'volunteer' is during regular office hours and 'occasional weekends.' Why not have people volunteer on weekends and evenings if they have the time? 

I was actually thinking that this might be a great way for some people to help give back by sharing with others about conservation, hunting, fishing, the outdoors, but it doesn't really look that way to me. Maybe I am being too hasty in my views on the subject. Go check out the DFG website and let me know what your impressions are. I would really like to hear them.

The California Department of Fish and Game (DFG) is recruiting applicants for the Natural Resource Volunteer Program (NRVP) to serve in Los Angeles and Orange counties.

The NRVP provides conservation and enforcement education through public service while providing biological, enforcement and administrative staff support to DFG.

DFG is holding an NRVP training academy in Los Alamitos from April 25 to May 6, Monday through Friday. Graduates of this academy become volunteers for DFG. These positions are unpaid.

Interested individuals go through a selection process which includes initial screening, application, interview and background check. If selected, individuals attend an 80-hour conservation course to prepare them for a monthly service commitment of at least 24 hours. After completing the academy, volunteers work with a trained volunteer mentor implementing their newly acquired skills during a six-month probationary period.

Applicants should be teachable, accountable, have basic computer and writing skills, and a willingness to talk about conservation principles to the public in the field and in a classroom setting. Applicants must show a desire to work well with others in a team environment to do tasks that free up time for paid DFG staff.

DFG Natural Resource Volunteers have no law enforcement authority and are trained to be educational ambassadors for the department, donating their time in a variety of areas. Some of these areas include responding to human/wildlife incident calls, instructing at NRVP academies, representing DFG at community outreach events, patrolling DFG lands, ecological reserves, and coastal and inland fishing areas, and disseminating useful information to the public.

Applications must be received by April 15, 2011. Please contact Lt. Kent Smirl at (714) 448-4215 prior to submitting an application.

Further information and an application can be found on the NRVP website at www.dfg.ca.gov/volunteer/NRVP/.

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