Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, Wild South continues to stand by the South’s wild places. As record numbers of people enjoy public lands, the extra wear and tear is real. Adapting to the challenge, Wild South is keeping crews small. We’re empowering individuals, families, and small teams to protect the forests they love.
A few friends can protect thousands of acres by rebuilding fire rings to prevent wildfires. Wild South is working with volunteers to clean and repair campsites all over Sipsey.
After a long day clearing fallen trees off Trail 209, the crew pauses to enjoy a waterfall hidden among the hemlocks.
This small crew tackled a big job, removing the trees that blocked Sipsey’s Trail 207.
Wild South board member Robert Howell helped hike a huge pile of trash three miles out Sipsey Trail 202 in the pouring rain.
A half dozen huge oaks and many smaller trees all came down together and blocked the Linville Gorge Trail near Bynum Bluff. A small crew took the opportunity to create crosscut saw best practices for the remainder of the pandemic.
A team of highly skilled Wild South Volunteer Wilderness Rangers cleared a fallen tree off Sipsey’s Trail 200.
Wild South helped The Conservation Fund clean up land adjoining Linville Gorge Wilderness. The land will become part of Pisgah National Forest later this year.
Wild South Volunteer Wilderness Rangers enjoyed a day in the Sipsey Wilderness maintaining fire rings along Wolfpen, Little Ugly, and Eagle Creeks.
Risk mitigation is nothing new for wilderness crews running crosscut saws. Healthy attitudes toward coronavirus risk have been good to see. Protocols for two-man saws are in place now, but one-man saws may be the preferred tool for a while. This oak was blocking Bynum Bluff Trail in Linville Gorge.
The surge in National Forest visitation has meant a surge in vandalism as well. Wilderness is no place for graffiti, and Wild South volunteers are committed to cleaning it up.
Out for a day in the Sipsey Wilderness to enjoy wildflowers, learn about feral hogs, and maintain Trail 203.
It was a hot day for cleaning graffiti off this popular overlook on the Grandfather Ranger District. Wild South volunteers worked together with the US Forest Service summer crew to get the job done.
Wilson Creek Wild & Scenic River draws visitors from near and far, and endures more than its share of vandalism. It was in support of Wilson Creek that Wild South developed expertise in streamside graffiti removal.
It was another hot, humid, and beautiful day in the Sipsey Wilderness as a Wild South Helping Hands volunteer crew cleaned and restored campsites on Trail 200 and 209.
Packing flood debris out the infamous Devil’s Hole Trail, community volunteers left Linville Gorge Wilderness even more beautiful than they found it.
While cleaning up trash along the Sipsey Fork Wild & Scenic River, the crew had to carefully tiptoe around a copperhead snake.
This remote graffiti site took a half dozen people several days to access and clean. Cleanup efforts on this scale show just how passionate people are for their public lands.
These friends packed in water and supplies to remove graffiti from this special overlook in Linville Gorge Wilderness.
The South’s wild places are a sacred source of inspiration. So are the people who enjoy, value, and protect these places for all to share.