Frequently Asked Questions

Participating in a project with the award-winning Team Consauga volunteer program gives you a chance to work side by side with Forest Service employees and seasoned volunteer crew leaders. You’ll learn more about the Cohutta Wilderness, the new Pinhoti Trail and Georgia's distinctly different ridge and valley region located west of Dalton.

Who? Hikers, bike riders, equestrians and others who enjoy the outdoors. We range in age from 18-65 and work as often as 1-2 times a month or as little as once a year.

What? Maintain over 300 miles of trails, restore backcountry campsites, provide information and education, perform wildlife and fisheries habitat improvement and host campgrounds.

Where? Conasauga District of the Chattahoochee National Forest, including the Cohutta Wilderness in Northwest Georgia.

When? The Forest Service organizes one Saturday volunteer day each month throughout the year. In addition, volunteers and affiliate organizations coordinate with the Forest Service to perform activities on most weekends and some weekdays.

Why? Team Conasauga Volunteers enjoy “giving back” for the enjoyment they receive from our national lands. We also enjoy the great friendships and camaraderie with others who share in out enjoyment of the great outdoors.

Core Activities

• Clear undergrowth and trim tree branches and bushes that have overgrown the trail right-of-way. Our tools include loppers, pruning saws and slingblades.

• Build and maintain waterbars or berms to divert rainwater from the trail. Our tools include pulaskis, fire rakes and shovels.

• Clear trees that have fallen on the trail right-of-way using crosscut saws within the wilderness and power saws elsewhere.

• Restore backcountry campsites using shovels and pulaskis.

Volunteer Appreciation Picnic

Each October, the Forest Service hosts the Volunteer Appreciation Picnic. The picnic provides special recognition to those volunteers who accumulate 20 or more hours of volunteer time during the previous fiscal year (October-September).

How are volunteer hours counted?

• Volunteer hours earned: travel time from home to the work site or trailhead + actual work hours. Note that actual work hours includes hiking or riding time from the trailhead to the work site when work is performed upon arrival. It does not include leisure hiking or riding with the volunteer work party when no actual work is performed. Actual work hours also includes volunteer work performed in support functions related to the administration of the Team Conasauga volunteer program, e.g. website design and updates, board meetings, special volunteer recruitment (REI), other volunteer recordkeeping.

• 20 hours: Number of hours a person must volunteer in a given Fiscal Year (October-September) to be invited to the annual Conasauga Ranger District Volunteer Appreciation Picnic and to earn a free Chattahoochee-Oconee NF Annual Pass or OHV pass.

• 75 hours: Number of hours a trail volunteer must contribute in a given Fiscal Year (October to September) to earn the Region-8 Volunteer Trail Patch.

• Top Guns: Recognition and awards given to the top volunteers in terms of hours contributed to the Conasauga R.D. in a given Fiscal Year (October-September).

• Volunteer of the Year: Recognition and award given to the person who has volunteered the most hours for the Conasauga Ranger District in a given Fiscal Year (October-September).