Would You Like To Be a Wilderness Ranger?

Every fall, on the first weekend in October, Wild South hosts training for a new group of volunteers interested in joining the Volunteer Wilderness Ranger team.

The USDA Forest Service in Alabama manages three federally designated wilderness areas, Sipsey, Cheaha, and Dugger Mountain, totaling 42,218 acres. For the past several years, Forest Service budgets have afforded very little staff time for agency presence in these areas. Meanwhile, visitor use has skyrocketed, especially in Cheaha and Sipsey, turning these federally designated wild places into crowded recreation areas rather than wilderness areas during certain times of the year.

For this reason, in 2011, Wild South entered into a partnership with the Forest Service and established a corps of trained and dedicated volunteer wilderness rangers for all three of Alabama’s wilderness areas. These volunteers provide all the services of a Forest Service wilderness ranger except for law enforcement.

Volunteer wilderness rangers are trained in wilderness law, local wilderness regulations, the wilderness ethic, Leave No Trace, CPR and First Aid, the Authority of the Resource, radio and GPS use, as well as crosscut saw and traditional tool training. All volunteer activities support USFS management goals and are covered under the USDA Volunteers in National Forests (VIF) program.

Learn more here…


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