Stewardship and Habitat Restoration

Land Stewardship is rewarding and diverse work, from easy to very physically demanding. The Difficulty Ratings reflect a broad range of activities from seed collection and cactus planting to removal of mature invasive tress. The scope of work may vary on any project, and stewardship leaders will assign tasks based on participants’ abilities.

Most stewardship programs occur in full-sun settings that may include wildlife such as ticks, bees, spiders and other insects, as well as rattlesnakes and poison oak. All stewardship activities include some stopping, bending, lifting, and squatting. Many will involve reaching, kneeling, twisting, and the use of tools, including basic garden tools, shovels, picks, brush hooks, saws, and specialized devices.

The Land Stewardship Difficulty Ratings are based on the following criteria:

  • Setting and remoteness of stewardship activity
  • Grade and stability of the terrain/surface of the work site
  • Weight and hazard of the tools that may be utilized
  • Elevation gain/loss to and from work site

Level 1

Setting: Native Seed Farm or other location near restroom facilities

Terrain/surface of work: Flat and stable

Tools: None or small garden hand tools

Elevation: None

Level 2

Setting: Areas near road access. Work area may be on or off trail, and usually not remote from staging area

Terrain/surface of work: Mostly flat or slight slope and stable, but on natural surfaces in the wild

Tools: Small garden hand tools

Elevation: Minimal

Level 3

Setting: Wilderness; on and off trail. May be moderately remote from staging area

Terrain/surface of work: Flat to moderate slope, generally stable ground, but likely irregular or rocky natural surfaces

Tools: Small garden tools, shovels, picks, wheelbarrow

Elevation: Minimal; may include short walks to work site

Level 4

Setting: Wilderness; mostly off trail. Remote work sites possible.

Terrain/surface of work: Sloping, hilly, possibly rocky or unstable

Tools: Small garden tools, saws, shovels, brush hooks, weed wrench

Elevation: May include moderate ascents and descents to work site(s)

Level 5

Setting: Wilderness; off trail in and up canyons, gullies, ravines. May be very remote

Terrain/surface of work: Steep, rocky, possibly unstable

Tools: Use of tools that may include shovels, picks, weed wrenches, saws and axes on sloping terrain and loose surfaces

Elevation: May include steep ascents and descents to multiple work sites