Training in Wilderness Stewardship Planned for 50th Anniversary of Wilderness Act

Date Published: Jan 29, 2014

Brevard, NC (January 29, 2014) – The Appalachian Trail Conservancy, the Southern Appalachian Wilderness Stewards (or SAWS, a project of The Wilderness Society) and the United States Forest Service opened the application period today for the Wilderness Skills Institute (WSI), a training program for wilderness stewardship and management. In its fourth year, WSI is scheduled for May 19 to 30 at the Cradle of Forestry near Brevard, NC.

The Institute is designed to provide practical information about designated wilderness and the skills necessary to work effectively in wilderness, including certifications such as Wilderness First Aid, Leave No Trace and crosscut saw. WSI is a proven resource for trail volunteers, agency employees and nonprofit staff.

The program each week features three levels of training for a variety of participants and levels of experience. Course work includes tool care, building trail structures, rigging to stabilize and move heavy objects and a trail maintenance course that emphasizes hands-on instruction on the theory and skills to maintain and repair wilderness trails. A course will also be offered for wilderness rangers focusing on history, policy, law, field safety, Leave No Trace and recreation use monitoring, among other topics. All tracks come together for discussions of wilderness theory and legislation with some of the nation’s most experienced stewards.

Application and registration is free, and camping is provided.

Training Course:  Wilderness Skills Institute 2014
Dates: May 19 to May 30
Location:  Cradle of Forestry in Brevard, NC
Tuition: An application is required, and registration is free once accepted into the program. To apply, or for more information, visit

For more information about this training course, contact Leanna Joyner at 828.254.3708 or email [email protected], or call Bill Hodge at 828.587.9453 or email [email protected]

About the Appalachian Trail Conservancy
The ATC was founded in 1925 by volunteers and federal officials working to build a continuous footpath along the Appalachian Mountains. A unit of the National Park Service, the A.T. ranges from Maine to Georgia and is approximately 2,185 miles in length. It is the longest hiking-only footpath in the world. The mission of the ATC is to preserve and manage the Appalachian Trail – ensuring that its vast natural beauty and priceless cultural heritage can be shared and enjoyed today, tomorrow, and for centuries to come. For more information, please visit

Contact: Leanna Joyner
Appalachian Trail Conservancy
Tel: 828.254.3708
Fax: 828.254.3754
Email: [email protected]

About the Southern Appalachian Wilderness Stewards
Southern Appalachian Wilderness Stewards is a project of The Wilderness Society dedicated to providing stewardship to areas designated and managed as wilderness on our glorious public lands. For more information, visit

Contact: Bill Hodge
Program Director, Southern Appalachian Wilderness Stewards
The Wilderness Society Southern Appalachians Office
Tel: 828.587.9453 
Fax: 828.254.3708
Email: [email protected]

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