Shelters in Tongass National Forest, AK

Shelters in Tongass National Forest, AK

Manzanita Shelter after tree fall damage

The Tongass National Forest is the nation’s largest, covering most of Southeast Alaska. Encompassing millions of acres of Alaskan wilderness, this unique forest features bear viewing areas, migratory bird stopover sites, and fascinating limestone caves and karst sites. Spend your summer with HistoriCorps, working to rehabilitate three historic shelters in the Forest’s Ketchikan Ranger District! Stipends may be available to youth between the ages of 18-30 (or up to age 35 if you are a veteran). This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to preserve Alaskan history, learn historic construction techniques, and connect with the land! We'll be spending a lot of time on and near pristine lakes for this project, so make sure to bring your fishing gear and a raincoat! Learn more about the Tongass National Forest here.

Manzanita Shelter before tree fall event (photo courtesy USFS)

One of the shelters we are working, the Manzanita Shelter, on is a Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC)-constructed Adirondack-style three-sided shelter, originally built in the 1930s. This style of shelter can be found in several national forests across the country, and is a testament to the influence of the Adirondack architectural style. The Manzanita Shelter is pictured at the right and was severely damaged by a tree fall event.

The remaining two buildings are cabins that may be rented out and need several repairs and stabilization work to preserve them.

WHO:  All volunteers are welcome, regardless of skill level. Students interested in the stipend and HistoriCorps Institute certificate (see below) will be given priority registration until April 7, 2017; after that date, youth age 18-30 or veterans up to age 35 can avail of the multi-session opportunities with a possible stipend. General volunteers may also register for one or multiple sessions at that time. Students, youth, and volunteers may sign up for any and all sessions. Preference is given for those who sign up for the full five sessions.

STIPENDS: Stipends may be awarded to youth age 18-30 or veterans up to age 35 who participate in 2 or more sessions. All inquiries may be directed to Liz Rice at or 720-287-0100 x231. There are a limited number of stipends available.

HISTORICORPS INSTITUTE ACADEMIC CERTIFICATE: Students who are interested in earning credit for the project may earn the HistoriCorps Institute Certificate of Achievement in Heritage Conservation and Construction. Learn more about the Certificate here.

WHAT:  Project participants will restore two shelters and one cabin, including:  Manzanita Shelter, Winstanley Lake Cabin, and Wilson Narrows Cabin. Participants will learn to:

Winstanley Lake Cabin

  • Repair and reconstruct cabin foundation
  • Perform log repairs
  • Replace roofing
  • Clear away debris
  • Repaint structures

WHEN:  May 31 - July 31, 2017 (five sessions). Students, youth, and volunteers who participate on multiple sessions will have time off in between sessions.

WHERE:  Varying sites, Ketchikan Ranger District of Tongass National Forest, Ketchikan, AK

DETAILS: Crew members must provide their own transportation to Ketchikan, camping equipment, including tent, plastic or rubber rain suit, and work clothes. HistoriCorps will provide all meals, travel to work sites from Ketchikan Ranger District office, training, project materials, tools, and on-site project supervision.


  • General questions: email or call Liz Rice at or 720-287-0100 x231.
  • HistoriCorps Institute questions: email or call Jamie Baird at or 804-894-8786
  • HistoriCorps Institute student: Sessions 1-3, Stipend Requested (see above)
    May 31, 2017 - June 30, 2017
  • HistoriCorps Institute student: Sessions 4-5, Stipend Requested (see above)
    July 9, 2017 - July 31, 2017
2017-07-13T14:58:47+00:00 April 3rd, 2017|Comments Off on Shelters in Tongass National Forest, AK