Citizen monitoring and restoration is increasingly viewed as a means to involve local communities in wilderness stewardship. This paper examines research on volunteers participating in five monitoring and restoration programs in Western Montana. Volunteers reported that they gained valuable skills, felt more connected with local wilderness areas, and made an important contribution to wilderness management as a result of participation in volunteer projects. Volunteers also reported that they are more likely to participate in public involvement processes related to wilderness management because of the volunteer experience, and that they would be more informed participants. Consistent with related research, we found that volunteers tend to be more educated and more involved in their communities prior to participation, when compared with the general public. We conclude that realizing the potential of wilderness volunteer projects to build community capacity and nurture civic engagement in wilderness stewardship decisions depends on involving a broad cross-section of local communities in the development, implementation, and evaluation of volunteer projects.