CDFW to Host Southern California Natural Resource Volunteer Academy

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

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

“The NRVP emphasizes teaching people to teach others about conservation principles,” said program coordinator Lt. Kent Smirl. “It’s one of the finest conservation volunteer programs of its kind due to the diversity of subjects the volunteers are trained in.”

CDFW is holding an NRVP training academy in Los Alamitos April 1-4, with continued training to follow. Graduates of the academy become volunteers for CDFW. These positions are unpaid. Interested individuals go through a selection process, which includes an 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 to implement 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 CDFW staff.

Natural resource volunteer duties may include responding to human/wildlife incident calls, instructing at NRVP academies, representing CDFW at community outreach events, and patrolling CDFW lands, ecological reserves and coastal and inland fishing areas.

Volunteers who are successful in the application and oral interview phase will be required to have a Live Scan performed with rolling fee costs of approximately $25.  Volunteer applicants must also have a current California driver license and produce a Department of Motor Vehicle driving report showing a good driving record for the last five years.

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

Media Contacts:       
Kent Smirl, CDFW Law Enforcement, (714) 448-4215
Andrew Hughan, CDFW Communications, (916) 322-8944