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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. 

Working on the mountain? What to bring in your pack and on your person.

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

  • First Aid Kits

  • Webbing

  • Standard Hand tools

  • Footwear (possibly spiked)

  • Sample Checklists of ʻstandardʻ field equipment 

Decon *ISCs, OWW presentations*

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. 

  • Backpacks and boots

  • Vehicles

  • Outplanting

  • ROD protocols

  • Special cases - incipient weeds

Technical Skills (when to ask for help)

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.

  • Handsaws and Machetes

  • Chainsaw training

  • Pesticide Applicators License

  • Helicopter Safety and courses

  • Other Machinery 


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

  • GPS basics

  • Maps and Compass (when tech fails)

  • GIS for planning


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

  • Mapping communications

Emergency Response

What do you do when an injury happens? What do you do when a team member (or you) are lost?

  • Wilderness First Aid

  • Communications

  • Medivac Options

Basics for Volunteers

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.

  • Volunteer forms

  • Checklist

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