SAWS opened a new regional office in Roanoke, VA this week. The Roanoke based staff will focus on the partnership role SAWS plays for the stewardship of federally designated Wilderness areas and other undeveloped landscapes on the George Washington and Jefferson National Forests in Virginia.
The new office location allows SAWS to better integrate into, and connect with, Forest Service staff and the Virginia conservation community. This coming year, in partnership with the George Washington and Jefferson National Forests, SAWS will employ four Wilderness Rangers to educate visitors and work on priority monitoring and assessment projects in 18 Wilderness areas. In addition, SAWS will expand an innovative partnership with the United States Naval Academy, connecting Midshipmen to their public lands through stewardship and leadership opportunities on the George Washington and Jefferson National Forests.
Regarding the expansion, SAWS Virginia Program Manager, Eric Giebelstein said that he's “excited that we can enhance our partnership with the George Washington and Jefferson National Forests to help ensure that Wilderness areas in Virginia are protected in their wild and natural condition for current and future generations, and to create a lasting connection between Virginians and their public lands.”