Southern Appalachian Wilderness Stewards (SAWS) is a conservation non-profit organization dedicated to educating, cultivating, and empowering an engaged public and the next generation in the stewardship of public lands in the southeast. At SAWS, we believe that taking care of our public lands and connecting them to the next generation matters. We also believe that it is our shared responsibility to care for these lands, and to educate, train, and develop a skilled workforce to be the next conservation stewards and conservation leaders.
Headquartered in Asheville, NC with an office in Roanoke, VA, we focus our efforts on wilderness areas and public lands throughout the southern Appalachian region. Founded in 2010, we regularly work in North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Tennessee, Kentucky, Virginia, and West Virginia, and respond on a case-by-case basis to requests for assistance in other locations. Our work in those states primarily occurs on seven national forests including the National Forests in North Carolina, Francis Marion and Sumter, Chattahoochee-Oconee, Cherokee, Daniel Boone, George Washington & Jefferson, and Monongahela National Forests. We work with communities and partners across that landscape, including partners who work on the Appalachian Trail, and with community leaders in smaller, rural towns and in more urban areas within our footprint.
We are passionate and knowledgeable about wilderness and taking care of the special places in our backyard. Through stewardship jobs and volunteerism, workforce development, education, partnerships and community engagement, we are working to build wilderness relevancy; connect more people with meaningful, transformational experiences on public lands; and increase equitable access to the outdoors.
Take an in-depth look at our team, what drives us, and the work we’ve accomplished over the years.