The 2019 packing schedule is now up! Click below to view it, then give us a call at 406-387-3808 and we'll get you signed up!
The Bob Marshall Wilderness Foundation is looking for experienced packers with stock (horses, mules or llamas) to pack food, tools, and gear for volunteer projects. Volunteer pack support is an integral part in the work the Foundation does. Packers help us educate our volunteers about the importance of traditional stock use in the Bob while assisting in the maintenance of public lands and ensuring these lands stay open to private stock use. While packing for Foundation trips, volunteer packers are considered USFS volunteer and are covered under USFS workers comp during that time.
Please consider joining us!
1. Current USFS Defensive Horsemenship Class (or equivalant job experience)
Yes, we know many of you have been packing for years and are experts, but rules are rules. It only takes one untrained packer to ruin it for everyone else. Or worse, to cause an injury to people and animals on the trail. Check your local Backcountry Horsemen Chapter for upcoming training sessions or your local USFS office.
2. Registration and Signed JHA (Job Hazard Analysis) Form
When you register below you will also electronically sign the JHA form. The JHA explains the hazards of working with stock, and is required.
3. Good Standing with Local USFS Districts
We don't expect this to be an issue, but we do inform our local USFS partners who we are working with.
Now What - How do I sign up for a project?
If you meet these prerequisites, check out our packing schedule and find a project that suits your abilities and desired location in The Bob.
Email or call firstname.lastname@example.org or 406-387-3808 to make sure the project you're interested in is still available and will be a good fit for you. Then fill out the online registration, which includes the USFS Job Hazard Analysis.
Once you are signed up you will receive a map and detailed crew information.
Projects are first come, first assigned--so if you see one you like, sign up today!
REIMBURSEMENTS: Volunteer packers may request mileage reimbursements at $.50/mile DRIVEN (not packed) up to $200 per packing trip OR a letter from the BMWF outlining in-kind packing services for tax purposes/deductions. Please note if letter is requested, BMWF cannot define value of services. Packer determines value. Consult your tax adviser with more questions.
NUMBER OF PACKERS: Feel free to pack with a buddy to add extra animals if needed. We ask that you limit riders and/or helpers to 2-3 people total. Too many people could exceed the limit of the 15 person party size in Wilderness. Thanks for understanding.
NUMBER OF STOCK: Generally you can expect 1-2 animals for food, 1 animal for kitchen gear and 1 animal for tools/duffel at minimum. Check with BMWF for number of volunteers and gear specifics; each crew is different. Most projects require between 3-5 head of stock. Be aware there may be limits on stock numbers based on grazing and campsite availability.
FEED FOR PACKERS: Packers are always welcome to stay with the crew on the pack in and the day/night before on the pack out. BMWF will provide food. Advise BMWF if doing so for food planning.
FEED FOR STOCK: Please bring your own feed to supplement grazing opportunities. All feed MUST BE - weed, seed free!
Find certified forage
CABIN USAGE: USFS corrals and facilities (backcountry and front country cabins) are NOT available for use unless stated otherwise and with prior approval from BMWF and respective USFS district.
SIGN UPS & SCHEDULING: Packing one direction (in OR out) is OK, though a round-trip project sign up is preferred. Dates and locations subject to change, check with BMWF 1-2 weeks before pack dates for any changes.
FLEXIBILITY: Mileage depends on camp selected. Within stated range, but please remember all the unknown variables that can affect a pack trip.
VOLUNTEER CREWS: Generally, adult crews are between 5-7 volunteers and youth crews are 10-12 volunteers.
WEED PROJECTS: All "WEEDS" projects include possibility of transporting herbicides in concentrated liquid, powder or other form as well as spray backpacks/weed gear. BWMF will store all herbicides in spill-proof & water-proof dry bags.
LIABILITY: All volunteers, packers and other, are required to acknowledge and sign a Job Hazard Analysis (JHA) and the BMWF will include them on our specific project agreement with the Forest Service. If we do not have this information and an accident should occur, the person will not be covered under any workman’s comp insurance. Only packers who are essential to the project are eligible for coverage. Friends and family riding along will assume their own liability. If you are unclear, please contact the BMWF!