E-Paperwork for Scouting Trips

Welcome! The PCTA's Covid-19 Volunteer Protocols state that all volunteer sign in sheets, waivers, JHAs, etc. will be completed electronically before the project. Please review these documents closely and complete all required fields, including your signature on the final page. 

After submitting your signature, please check your email to verify your signature.

Before attending your PCTA volunteer project, review the CDC guidelines regarding underlying conditions and complete a COVID-19 self-evaluation.

Click "Next Page" to review and complete the following for your Level A project:
  • Volunteer Sign-in Sheet
  • Trail Survey JHA
  • COVID-19 Release of Liability Form
  • Your electronic signature
Please contact us at volunteer@pcta.org or (916) 285-1838 with any questions.

Volunteer Sign-In

  • I understand that I will not receive any compensation for my service and that volunteers are NOT considered Federal employees for any purpose other than tort claims and injury compensation. I understand that volunteer service is not creditable for leave accrual or any other employee benefits.
  • I understand that all photos, films, slides, videos, artistic or similar endeavors, resulting from my volunteer services as specifically stated in the Volunteer Services Agreement for Natural Resources Agencies, will become the property of the Pacific Crest Trail Association and the United States, and as such, will be in the public domain and not subject to copyright laws.

  • do hereby volunteer my services to assist in agency-authorized work. I agree to follow all applicable safety guidelines. 
  • I do hereby, for myself, my heirs, executors and administrators, release and forever discharge and hold harmless Pacific Crest Trail Association and all officers, directors, employees, agents and volunteers of the organization, including the owners and leasers of premises used to conduct the event acting officially or otherwise, from any and all claims, demands, actions or causes of action which in any way arise from my participation in the event.
  • California Department of Parks & Recreation (CDP&R) does not provide Workman's Compensation for work injuries. Volunteers are covered under the Federal agency that the easement is granted to from CDP&R, either the U.S. Forest Service or Bureau of Land Management.
  • Volunteers under the age of 18 must have a parent or guardian complete and sign a separate Participant Waiver and Emergency Medical Release 
  • I understand the health and physical condition requirements for doing the work as described by the crew leader and at the project location, and certify that I know of no medical condition or physical limitation that may adversely affect my ability to provide this service. If I do know of a medication, medical condition or physical limitation that may adversely affect my ability to provide this service, I have explained it to the crew leader and/or first aid lead.

Please contact us at volunteer@pcta.org or (916) 285-1838 with any questions.

Job Hazard Analysis (JHA)

References-FSH 6709.11 and -12

Trail Condition Survey
2. LOCATION: Pacific Crest NST and side trails
3. UNIT: Pacific Crest National Scenic Trail
4. NAME OF ANALYST: Beth Boyst (PCT Program Manager), PCTA
6. DATE PREPARED: July 31, 2018

7. TASKS/PROCEDURES: Communication
HAZARDS: Devices
ABATEMENT ACTIONS: Utilize cellular phones, satellite phones and/or InReach devices. Be aware that cell phones do not work along many sections of the PCT. Know the location of the nearest working landline and, if possible, the nearest location for cell phone service.

ABATEMENT ACTIONS: Have agency compatable radio. Ensure radio has properly programmed frequencies, in working order, and have an extra set of batteries before leaving on the trip. Know of local repeaters and best locations to use radios during emergency. Know who is available to hear you call on the radio, as agency staffing may be few or non after regular work hours and on weekends.

ABATEMENT ACTIONS: Check-in before project and check-out after project with designated tracker, which may be PCTA Regional Representative or federal agency staff.

TASKS/PROCEDURES: Emergency Response
HAZARDS: Trailhead Communication Plan (TCP), Emergency Action Plan (EAP)
ABATEMENT ACTIONS: Ensure plans are in place prior to beginning of project. Share TCP with PCTA Regional Rep, agency staff, and tracker. If EAP is activated due to incident, contact PCTA and agency staff immediately.

TASKS/PROCEDURES: Personal Protective Equipment
ABATEMENT ACTIONS: Eye protection and sunscreen. Appropriate footwear. High-visibility vest (on public roadways and during hunting season). First aid kit. Personal communication device. Map and compass. Matches/fire starter (waterproof container). Water or water purifier. Supply of food for 1-3 days. Flashlight (extra batteries and bulb). Lightweight shelter and appropriate clothing for rapidly changing climatic conditions. Space blanket.

TASKS/PROCEDURES: Vehicle Operation
HAZARDS: Fatigue, Narrow Rough Roads, Poor Visibility, Mechanical Failure
ABATEMENT ACTIONS: Drive defensively and slowly. Always wear seatbelts and turn lights on. Obey speed limits and reduce speed as appropriate for road conditions. Use spotter when backing. Use parking brake,chock blocks and do not leave vehicle while it is running. Stop and rest if fatigued; refer to pages 20-72 in the H&SC handbook.

HAZARDS: Getting Lost
ABATEMENT ACTIONS: Carry a map. Consult GPS, if available. Driver should know where the destination point is before getting in the vehicle. Maintain visual contact with another vehicle if traveling in a group.

HAZARDS: Dehydration, Contaminated Water
ABATEMENT ACTIONS: Don't overdo it! Know your limits. Take frequent breaks. Drink up to 12 quarts of water per day when the temperature is above 80 degrees. Increase fluids on hotter days or during extremely strenuous activity. Observe team members for signs of dehydration. Review map for water sources, keeping in mind the seasonality of the water source. Use proper water filtration or treatment techniques when drinking from a non-municipal water source.

HAZARDS: Falling Objects, Snags, Overhead Hazards, Trail Hazards
ABATEMENT ACTIONS: Be aware of your surroundings and watch where you step. Look for overhead dead limbs, overhead dead hung up limbs (widow makers), root sprung trees and snags. Be watchful of loose limbs on trees. Be careful of dead trees. Avoid standing at an unsafe site. Be aware of water crossings, marshes, and altitude changes. When fording streams, use a walking stick and undo hip belt to avoid drowning.

HAZARDS: Weather
ABATEMENT ACTIONS: Know the weather forecasts. Take appropriate gear. You can experience rain, hail, snow, lightning, or extreme heat on the PCT. Be watchful throughout the day of changing weather. In the event of lightning stay out of the open, off ridge tops and avoid water and solitary trees. If you are unprotected in a lightning storm, with no escape, remove any metal objects from your body and crouch on a piece of non-conductive, insulating material (i.e. a foam sleeping pad, rope, or pack).  If lighting is close, do not bunch, spread your group out or separate from your partner.

HAZARDS: Getting Lost
ABATEMENT ACTIONS: Carry a map and compass.  Identify safe routes and local conditions.  Make sure visual contact is kept with others in your group at forks in the trail. Avoid hiking in the dark. Designate meeting spot should someone become separated.

HAZARDS: Foot Damage
ABATEMENT ACTIONS: Wear appropriate socks and hiking boots with ankle support and good traction taking into account the terrain, the work, and the weather.

HAZARDS: Sun Exposure
ABATEMENT ACTIONS: Wear protective clothing including long sleeve shirt, long pants, and hat with brim. Use sun block and lip balm.

HAZARDS: Loose Ground/Rocks/Cliffs
ABATEMENT ACTIONS: Be aware of the surface conditions you are walking on. Wear proper footwear. Use caution and good judgement when choosing route to your destination. Try to avoid steep embankments, sliding down hills, jumping over obstacles and running down hills.

HAZARDS: Heavy Brush
ABATEMENT ACTIONS: Wear protective clothing such as long sleeve shirt, and long pants. In heavy undergrowth, lift knees high to clear obstacles. Watch for spring poles.

HAZARDS: Animals
ABATEMENT ACTIONS: Be observant of snakes which like to live under logs and shady areas. Be bear aware and use appropriate food storage devices. Be aware of potential predators (cougars, bears, dogs) in the area.

HAZARDS: Insects, Ticks, Spiders, Mosquitoes, Bees
ABATEMENT ACTIONS: Use insect repellant. Be aware of potential for hives in brush, rock crevasses, or hollow logs. Clothing should fit tight at the wrists, ankles and waist. Tuck in shirt tails. Search your body, especially hair and clothing, for ticks and insects on a regular basis.

HAZARDS: Contact with Poison Oak/Sumac
ABATEMENT ACTIONS: Know how to identify poisonous plants. Whenever the skin contacts a poisonous plant or noxious weed, wash the area with cold water within 1 to 3 minutes or as soon as possible. While working in the poisonous plant environment, do not use soap and/or hot water because they can remove the natural protective oils from your skin. Upon returnining from the field, use rubbing alcohol to cleanse contacted skin.

ABATEMENT ACTIONS: Talk to the rider to make contact and receive direction. Stand off the trail on the downhill side. Do not make sudden movements or loud noises. It may be helpful to take your hard hat off until animals pass. Listen and look for approaching stock. Remain calm and back away if animals become unruly.

HAZARDS: Hand and Foot Damage
ABATEMENT ACTIONS: Communicate when moving large or heavy objects. Do not roll anything heavy when people are downhill. Anticipate the roll of any loose object. Watch for limbs and stubs on rolling trees.

TASKS/PROCEDURES: Local/Project-Specific Concerns

Work supervisors and crew members are responsible for developing and discussing field emergency evacuation procedures (EEP) and alternatives in the event a person(s) becomes seriously ill or injured at the worksite.

Be prepared to provide the following information:

A. Nature of the accident or injury (avoid using victim's name).
B. Type of assistance needed, if any (ground, air, or water evacuation).
C. Location of accident or injury, best access route into the worksite (road name/number), identifiable ground/air landmarks.
D. Radio frequencies.
E. Contact person.
F. Local hazards to ground vehicles or aviation.
G. Weather conditions (wind speed & direction, visibility, temperature).
H. Topography.
I. Number of individuals to be transported.
J. Estimated weight of individuals for air/water evacuation


The items listed above serve only as guidelines for the development of emergency evacuation procedures.

JHA and Emergency Evacuation Procedures Acknowledgment

We, the undersigned work leader and crew members, acknowledge participation in the development of this JHA (as applicable) and accompanying emergency evacuation procedures. We have thoroughly discussed and understand the provisions of each of these documents:

If you have suggested updates for this JHA, please email to volunteer@pcta.org

JHA – Pacific Crest Trail – Trail Condition Assessment Survey - Approved By Regional Forester Randy Moore on November 8, 2018

Please contact us at volunteer@pcta.org or (916) 285-1838 with any questions.

COVID-19 Release of Liability Form

I acknowledge that this COVID-19 release of liability form will be used by the Pacific Crest Trail Association (PCTA) for volunteer activities in which I choose to participate, and that it will govern my actions and responsibilities at said volunteer activity.


I waive, release, and discharge from any and all liability, including but not limited to, liability arising from the negligence or fault of the entities or person released, for my contracting COVID-19, death, disability, personal injury, property damage, property theft, or actions of any kind which may hereafter occur to me including my traveling to and from PCTA volunteer activities. The following entities or persons include: PCTA staff, directors, representatives, vendors, sponsors, other volunteers, and owners of properties where volunteering is taking place.


I hereby assume all of the risks of volunteering, including by way of example and not limitation, any risks that may arise from negligence or carelessness on the part of the persons or entities being released, COVID-19 risks associated with contracting COVID-19 from other participants or staff on the project, or because of their possible liability without fault.


I indemnify, hold harmless, and agree not to sue the entities or persons referenced above from any and all liabilities or claims made as a result of volunteering with PCTA, whether caused by the negligence of release or otherwise.


I acknowledge that this volunteering may involve interaction with other volunteers and the public who may unknowingly have COVID-19, and may carry with it the potential for death, and serious injury.


I certify that I:

  • Am physically fit and have not been advised to not participate by a qualified medical professional.

  • Have no health-related reasons or problems which preclude my participation in volunteering.

  • Have read the CDC guidelines regarding underlying conditions that would put me at high risk of severe illness and determined my volunteering will not unduly jeopardize my safety.

  • Will complete a COVID-19 self-evaluation before attending any and every volunteer activity: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/symptoms-testing/symptoms.html

  • Acknowledge and am willing to abide by PCTA’s COVID-19 policies, procedures, protocols, and COVID-19 Risk Assessment.

  • Will disclose to PCTA staff exposure to any confirmed cases of COVID-19, or a confirmed case themselves, within 24 hours of discovery, if that exposure is within 14 days after a work trip.


I hereby consent to receive medical treatment which may be deemed advisable in the event of injury, accident, and/or illness during this activity or event.


I certify that I have read and fully understand this document and its content. I am aware of risks and concerns related to COVID-19 and that this is a release of liability as well as a contract and I sign it of my own free will.

For Volunteers Under 18 Years Old:

Please note: for volunteers under 18 years old, a parent or legal guardian should provide the following e-signature.

Please contact us at volunteer@pcta.org or (916) 285-1838 with any questions.