Members & Volunteers

Here you can download our annual chapter events calendar as well as the forms you need for giving a gift membership. The forms are here as well for recording and reporting volunteer hours.

Trail Safe!

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A new safety initiative from the National Park Service offers participants online self-study videos that examine the objectives taught in the Park Service Operational Leadership training. It’s an approach that focuses on the mindset needed to work safely, not a cookbook on how to use a tool. 

The series consists of 8 videos, with a total time of about 3 hours.

Take a look at the NPS IAT website and scroll down to the Trail Safe! feature to find the link. Start at the beginning and complete the Training Verification Roster back at the Trail Safe! home page, and you’ll receive a pin and other info from NPS. Also be sure to keep track of your time spent and report it to the chapter to be sure we capture your volunteer hours. 

If you think the training presenter looks vaguely familiar, that’s because the series is presented by Dan Watson of the Ice Age National Scenic Trail National Park Service headquarters. Dan is planning to visit our chapter in the near future to talk about some current issues and will be more than delighted if you have questions for him that have arisen from watching the series. The series has now been adopted by many other trails and parks in the NPS system, so Dan’s a celebrity.

Record Your Volunteer Hours!

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If you are a trail adopter, mower, writer, chapter officer, or anyone who works at or attends other than at a formal “event”, you must keep a log of your volunteer hours and submit it quarterly to Libby Stupak. These records are important when it comes time to justify to funders the amount of volunteer impact their support provides. 

The IATA website (https://www.iceagetrail.org/volunteer/) explains record-keeping. You should record your hours on the Individual Hours Log form, which you can download from the web page:  Just go to https://www.iceagetrail.org, just click the big yellow VOLUNTEER button at the top of the page and scroll down past the numbers to the “Get Involved” section where you can find the Volunteer Individual Log form or the first time volunteer’s Individual Volunteer Services Agreement Form.

Each quarter (right away at the beginning of April, July, October, & January) send the completed form to Libby Stupak, stupakls@hotmail.com.

Some volunteers print out a page and keep it handy to write down hours as they occur; later they transfer the entries to the page on their computer so they can email it to Libby. Others use a notebook or a page on their smartphone. Whatever system works best for you, just be sure to use it, and then submit the hours on the form on your computer using email. 

Volunteer Agreement Form

All volunteers are required to fill in and sign a Volunteer Agreement form. This give both us and the National Park Service the information they need in case of an emergency, and makes sure any medical needs that arise from the volunteer activities are covered. 

Please download the form, print it out, complete the form, and sign it. Certain sections of the form apply only to minors, and the parent or guardian must sign. Unless instructed otherwise, bring the form with you to your first volunteer activity. Forms can be completed on the computer before printing and signing. Forms are in .docx (Word) format.

Note (eff. May, 2020): ALL VOLUNTEERS, regardless of past volunteer status, must download, fill out, sign, and return the NEW 301a form (3 sides). Please read all the accompanying materials. When you have received your signed form back from the National Park Service, you are once again welcome to volunteer as before. 

Please read through the attached documents:  

  1. A Cover Letter from Eric Gabriel, Superintendent [PDF]
  2. IATR-VIP Risk Assessment Tool [PDF]
  3. Covid19Job Hazard Analysis (JHA) [PDF]


Download Form 301a - For individual volunteers, adult or minors. Please send the form and your questions about it to daniel_watson@nps.gov.

Learn all about Trail Building and Maintenance

The Ice Age Trail Alliance has published a rucksack load of informational booklets on trail building and maintenance, specific to the Ice Age Trail. You can find links to many of them here. These are PDF’s, and clicking the link will download them for your own library. Toward the end are other references from the NPS, DNR, and USFS.


Trail Layout and Design 101


Introduction to Rigging for Trails


Trail Structures Notebook


Trail Stewardship Notebook


Trail Signage Notebook

     Trail Signage 201


NPS Resources: Trail Development and Management Standards


Wisconsin DNR: Runoff Standards for Public Trails Near Waterways and Wetlands


US Forest Service: Trail Construction and Maintenance Notebook

Chapter Potluck Supper and Meeting Through The Years

July Potluck: "Where's the Beef?"


2017 Chippewa Moraine Chapter Operational Guidelines.pdf

Chippewa Moraine Chapter Operating Guidelines (Shorter).pdf

Chapter Event Calendar

All chapter events are located on IATA web site, along with regional and trail-wide events.

Trail Maintenance Sections and Adopters 2019.pdf 2

Trail Condition Report

A form to note the condition of the trail. You can take a copy along to write on, but bring it home and fill it out on your computer so you can email it to the trail beavers.

Trail Condition Report (PDF version)

Adopt-A-Trail Manual

Click here to download this (rather long) guide that explains in detail what is helpful to know before you go out to help work on a segment of trail as a trail adopter.

Chain Saw Use

While extremely important for trail maintenance, chain saws are inherently hazardous and their use is minimized wherever possible by the Chippewa Moraine Chapter. When they must be used, there are strict requirements established by the IATA and the NPS that govern who may use them, what training is required, and what safety equipment must be present.

The Ice Age Trail Alliance sets forth the requirements in a policy document.

From time to time the chapter or the alliance provide opportunities to receive training in First Aid, CPR, and Chain Saw Safety. In order to take a Chain Saw Safety class, an application is needed.

Training certification is valid for only a limited period and must be retaken to remain current. The life of each type of training is as follow:

FISTA Chain Saw Safety Certification - 3 years (NPS requirement)

First Aid - 2 years

CPR - 2 years

In addition, the DNR requires a safety acknowlegement form to be signed and filed before chain saw use is permitted on state land. This form is collected by the chapter and forwarded to the DNR property manager.

Power Equipment Policy

Chippewa Moraine Ice Age Unit

How to find it!

Chippewa Falls Public Library

This is where we meet most of the year. Here's how to find it.

How to Sharpen the Chain Saw Blade with Electric Sharpener

how to use harbor freight chain saw sharpener

Why we report our volunteer hours!

Trail Volunteers are Truly VIPs
(But If You Don’t Report Your Hours, Your Hours Don’t Count!)

By Tom Gilbert
NPS Superintendent, Ice Age National Scenic Trail

Amendments to the National Trails System Act in 1983 added new emphasis to the importance of volunteers in building and maintaining our nation’s National Scenic and National Historic Trails. The amendment extended the Volunteers-in-Parks (VIP) and Volunteers-in-Forests programs to cover volunteers who work to build and maintain these trails, even outside our national parks and forests.

VIP status provides important coverage for volunteers in the case of injuries suffered while doing volunteer work on national trails—their medical expenses can be compensated. It also protects them from personal liability in connection with the work they perform. In essence, the National Park Service (NPS) assumes the liability if, for example, a hiker gets injured using the trail and tries to sue the volunteer responsible for maintaining that segment of trail.

This coverage comes with a requirement—that volunteers immediately report any injuries to the NPS and that they record and report their hours of volunteer service. Reporting volunteer hours is accomplished by reporting them to the Ice Age Park and Trail Foundation (IAPTF). Improved reporting procedures are being developed to track the hours by individual over the course of each year as well as a new program to recognize the contributions of volunteer time.

Reporting all of your hours is very important and has an impact on the level of federal funding for the Ice Age Trail and the VIP program. The NPS is required to annually report both the total number of volunteers and volunteer hours to Congress.

One of the reasons that the Ice Age Trail and other national trails receive relatively generous funding from the NPS Challenge Cost Share (CCS) program is that the value of volunteer hours contributed for various projects far exceeds the value of the federal funds committed to those projects. For more than 10 years, Congress has been setting aside 1/3 of the NPS CCS funds for national trails. National Scenic and Historic Trails receive this significant share of the funds because of the effectiveness of volunteer labor committed to those projects.

However, you don’t have to physically build and maintain the trail to be a VIP or report your hours. You can also report your hours if you are the person who maintains chapter records, prepares the newsletter, leads or plans chapter activities, writes articles for the local paper, provides interpretation, or stuffs envelopes for mailings. All of those activities and many more are needed to promote the trail, keep it in good condition for hikers, and serve other members of the IAPTF.

In addition, the travel time between your home and the trailhead, or an office or meeting location, should also be counted; you couldn’t do your volunteer work without this travel. You should also count meeting time for planning, publicity, or support activities.

So the next time you are tempted to skip recording and reporting your volunteer hours because “it doesn’t mean anything,” or “I’m not in this for the recognition,” or “it’s too much trouble,” please make the effort and jot down the hours and report them to the IAPTF. It really does make a difference.