By Charlie Smillie, Wilderness Ranger It’s a beautiful day in the Wilderness neighborhood, here on the Chattahoochee-Oconee National Forest. When my partner, Wilderness Ranger Nathan Mynatt and I set out for the Blue Ridge District Ranger’s Office about a month ago, I wasn’t without a few reservations. Part of our job was to further the education and outreach goals of the Wilderness program on the Chattahoochee. The only problem was, we’re both out-of-towners (and I’m a yanke
By Eric Giebelstein, Wilderness Ranger While monitoring for solitude in the wonderful Ramsey's Draft Wilderness in Virginia, I came across a curious sight. A small yellow and gray bird was hopping and fluttering among the plants and rocks just off the trail. I stood and pondered and observed for a couple of minutes. The bird appeared to be wounded, dragging its outspread wings pitifully between hops and flutters. However, I realized that it could be a distraction display by
Read all about it! Correspondent Delene Beeland interviewed The Wilderness Society's SAWS Program Director, Bill Hodge for an article titled NC's Natural Treasures: 50 Years of Staying Wild, which appeared in the RaleighNews & Observer today.
By Heather Eggleston, Wilderness Ranger It is my third time into Ramsey’s Draft Wilderness area. I am starting to trust the trail, to wait patiently for the Wilderness boundary, to remember the creek crossings. I hear birds, the croak of frogs, the far-away rumble of air traffic and thunder. Insects are buzzing about, and today the whir of a hummingbird blesses my ears. This wilderness used to be well known for its large stands of virgin timber. People came from all around to
by Nathan Mynatt, Wilderness Ranger I saw a bear today! Not much of one, only a wide black butt-end crashing into the undergrowth, but I saw one. This isn’t the first bear I have seen either, but it is the first one I’ve seen in the Appalachians. It was about a mile into my hike this morning, and I would have entirely missed it had the bear not made so much noise. Shortly later on I ran into two hikers, both middle-aged women out for a day hike. One told me that she had secti
by Eric Giebelstein, Wilderness Ranger I'm so enthused to be back for my second season as a Wilderness Ranger for Southern Appalachian Wilderness Stewards. During my time with SAWS, I've covered a lot of land. Last year I was focused on Wilderness education programs in fifteen Wildernesses in the Cherokee, Chattahoochee-Oconee, Nantahala, and Pisgah National Forests. This year, my work is a little more focused. I'm monitoring for solitude, nonnative invasive species of pla
Charlie and I have developed a fairly irksome habit, which is that we seem to be getting everything wrong the first time. For example, we took a wrong turn going to the ranger station on our first morning on the job and left the key to our cabin locked inside the next day when we left for our first-day trip. Luckily, none of our missteps have carried any serious consequences, just a fair amount of embarrassment. Now, when I say our missteps, I mostly mean MY mistakes that Cha