kim waits rangers event

Wild South Welcomes Kim Waites!

We are proud to welcome Kim Waites on board to Coordinate the AL Volunteer Wilderness Rangers. Kim comes to us with years of experience in the forests of Alabama, and out west – including numerous expeditions as a hike leader and ranger for Wild South. She has a passion for wild places, is an avid climber and hiker and will use her skills to coordinate the Wilderness Rangers to patrol Alabama Wilderness and monitor our wild places.

Event background:

On Oct. 26, 2013, a woman backpacking with a friend in the Sipsey Wilderness took a fall and severely broke her leg. She was in the heart of the Sipsey, over 4 miles from any trail head. Fortunately, there were Wild South volunteers in the wilderness that day, some engaged in trail maintenance and two others leading a hike, one of whom is a Wild South volunteer wilderness ranger and trained wilderness first responder. With the help of other wilderness visitors, two local volunteer fire and rescue units, and the Wild South volunteers, the injured woman was evacuated from the wilderness before dark. You can read the whole story HERE.

rescue2Well, that woman was Lauren Guillebeau, and she wanted to do something as a gesture of gratitude for her rescuers. In fact, in Lauren’s words, “as I lay there on that stretcher, I made a resolution that I was going to do something to show my appreciation.” So, she and some of her friends have conceived, planned and organized this fundraiser for Wild South’s Volunteer Wilderness Ranger program.  The money raised by this event will be used to grow and improve this vitally needed wilderness stewardship effort.  Wild South’s volunteer wilderness rangers serve to protect and preserve wilderness character and to offer assistance and support to wilderness visitors when necessary.

In this year of the 50th anniversary of the Wilderness Act, people are stepping up across the country to demonstrate how much they value this natural legacy, America’s enduring resource of wilderness.  We all need to join together to preserve this symbol of independence. Come join us in Birmingham on May 15 and lift a glass to Wilderness!


Wild South’s Volunteer Wilderness Ranger program is supported in part by grants from:

NFF logo


WACF logo


  1. Joseph Swaim on November 16, 2014 at 10:31 am

    Growing up I visited Natahala dozens of times. I have find memories whitewater rafting, staying up late by the fire, or renting a small cabin last minute when the temperatures dropped suddenly.

    I have always enjoyed the ride and hope to someday bring my children there and give them a similar experience as I.