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Field Work Basics & Mountain Safety

Safe practices on the work site, whether on the mountain, in the greenhouse, or in the garden, are critical for effective watershed work. These topics ensure we minimize impacts to the land, but more importantly, to ourselves so we can continue our work tomorrow and in the years ahead.

Being safe on the mountain means bringing the gear you need to navigate challenging terrain, stay warm and dry, ensure work tasks are done safely, and respond to emergency scenarios.

Humans can be key dispersers of weeds and plant pathogens.  Here are some best practices to minimize the chances of introducing new threats where you work.

Many conservation actions require specialized knowledge and additional training, such as using machinery, applying certain pesticides, and working with helicopters.  Here we outline recommended and required courses for these situations and who provides them.

The use maps and GPS are ubiquitous for field-based conservation work. These tools not only help us find where we're going and the way back home, but are also a key part of documenting and assessing our work.

How do you communicate with your team members in the field and back in the office?  Do you have cell phone coverage where you're working?  What other options are there?

What do you do when an injury happens?  What do you do when you, or a team member, is lost?

Do you manage volunteers?  Or are you yourself volunteering for a day of field work?  These resources outline the basics of what gear volunteers should bring and/or be provided to ensure a safe work day.


Other resources for field work

Gear Links & Content
Decon Links & Content
Technca Skills Links & Content


Checklist of "standard" field equipment

First Aid Kits


Standard Hand Tools

Footwear & Spikes


Backpacks & Boots


Outplanting & Phytosanitation

Rapid ʻŌhiʻa Death (ROD) Protocols

Special Cases - Incipient Weeds

Technical Skills

Handsaws & Machetes

Chainsaw Training

Pesticide Applicator's License

Helicopter Safety & Courses

Other Machinery


GPS Basics

Map & Compass (for when digital fails)


Mapping Communications

Emergency Response

Wilderness First Aid


Medivac Operations

Basics for Volunteers

Volunteer Forms (Templates)


Navigaion Lins &Content
Comms Links & Content
Emergency Links &Content
Volunteers Links & Content

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