Please take the time to look through the United States Forest Service PDFs on hazardous trees. You will be working in areas where this is an unavoidable risk, thus the ability to recognize and make others aware of potential danger is necessary.
Please take the time to read the High Sierra Volunteer Trail Crew’s Acknowledgement and Assumption of Risks and Hazards policy:
High Sierra Volunteer Trail Crew
Acknowledgement and Assumption of Risks and Hazards
Acknowledgement and Assumption of Risks and Hazards
By volunteering to participate in any activity of the HSVTC, you are bound by all the terms and conditions of this Acknowledgement and Assumption of Risks and Hazards. Inherent in the volunteer work in which you have chosen to participate are many risks and hazards that exist in the field. This Agreement is intended to be as broad and inclusive as is permitted by law. If any provision or any part of any provision of this Agreement is deemed invalid or legally unenforceable for any reason, the remainder of this Agreement shall not be affected and shall remain valid and fully enforceable. If you participate in any activity of the HSVTC, you do so subject to and bound by this Acknowledgement and Assumption of Risks and Hazards. If you are not willing to voluntarily assume these risks, whether specifically listed below or not, you may not participate in the activity. The list below does not cover all possible risks or hazards but is intended to be illustrative of those risks and hazards, and to ensure you understand that the activities do entail serious risks and hazards, some of which may be unforeseen and not in the control of the HSVTC.
1) Much of the work involved is at high altitudes. People react differently to high altitude exposure. Risks include: the possibility of altitude sickness, which can be severe enough to cause death in some cases; nausea, vomiting; shortness of breath, and lack of energy. Some people lose the ability to make coherent judgments at high altitudes.
2) There may be weather conditions which result in volunteers becoming wet and/or cold, or conditions that cause slippery and unsafe terrain, increasing risk of injury. The temperatures that you experience may leave you exposed to hypothermia (if very cold), heat- or sun-related injuries or illnesses including sunburn, sunstroke, or dehydration (if very hot), either of which may diminish reaction times or increase the risk of accident or injury. Hypothermia and sunstroke, as examples, can be life-threatening if not treated promptly.
3) The presence of your own personal physical problems or health conditions or symptoms. The work we do involves strenuous physical activities. HSVTC does not require a medical certificate or clearance from a doctor for you to participate on trips, and you are responsible for determining whether your health and physical condition are robust enough to participate in the activity.
4) The risks associated with travel to and from project sites. Travel to and from the sites may involve both well-maintained public roads and poorly or unmaintained back roads, all of which present potential risk of accident or injury. HSVTC or the agencies it is working with also provide occasional transportation using a variety of vehicles, including off-road; fixed-wing aircraft or rotorcraft, all of which may involve risks of different kinds.
5) There may be present at different locations wildlife such as mountain lions, bear, deer, poisonous snakes and insects, any of which could be hazardous to your health, and poisonous or toxic plants such as poison oak and ivy which can cause skin rashes and allergic reactions, which are sometimes quite severe.
6) Water at the project sites or otherwise available near work sites may be unsafe to drink.
7) Site locations are often very remote, so there could be significant delays for any number of reasons in reaching medical care if needed.
You should also be aware that through the HSVTC’s relationship with the USFS and other agencies, while working on federal property, you will be considered a federal employee for purposes of any tort claims or compensation for work injuries. This may very well alter any rights you otherwise have to make claims for compensation. HSVTC makes no representations or warranties about your legal rights in this regard or any other.
To the fullest extent allowed by law, I agree to WAIVE, DISCHARGE CLAIMS, AND RELEASE FROM LIABILITY the HIGH SIERRA VOLUNTEER TRAIL CREW, the United States Forest Service, and any other participating governmental agency, their officers, directors, employees, agents, and leaders from any and all liability on account of, or in any way resulting from Personal Injuries or Property Damage of any kind, even if caused by negligence of the High Sierra Volunteer Trail Crew or its officers, directors, employees, agents, and leaders.
I further agree to HOLD HARMLESS all of said parties from any claims, damages, injuries or losses caused by my own negligence while a participant in the activity. I understand and agree that this assumption of risk and release is binding upon my heirs, executors, administrators and assign, and includes any minors accompanying me on the activity.
I have read this document in its entirety and I freely and voluntarily assume all risks of the activity whether identified herein or not. (check box in Registration)