As SAWS moves into 2014, we at SAWS and The Wilderness Society are excited about what this coming year promises. First and foremost, 2014 is a monumental year for the Wilderness community. September 3rd of this year will mark the 50th anniversary of the Wilderness Act, the very legislation which created Wilderness as a federal land designation. SAWS will be hosting and participating in several events and projects to celebrate this exciting anniversary.
With our spring volunteer season just around the corner, we are very excited to see some old friends on the trail and to welcome new friends into the stewardship community. Look for our spring calendar to be posted by the end of January. We will offer weekend volunteer opportunities, ranging from one to three days, from mid-February to early May.
SAWS will also be hosting several collegiate Alternative Break programs this spring. We enjoy connecting civic-minded students with their public lands through these educational service opportunities. Our alternative break groups are always incredibly enthusiastic, fun, and ready to get out on the trail.
As the spring season wraps up, May ushers in our very busy summer field season. We wait in anticipation to meet our seasonal staff at orientation, and to get to know them and other Wilderness volunteers and professionals during the Wilderness Skills Institute in Brevard, NC. Each year, we have a blast during the last two weeks of May at this annual training opportunity put on by SAWS, the USDA Forest Service, and the Appalachian Trail Conservancy.
Our summer crews, volunteer crews, and Wilderness Rangers will head to the field for June, July, and August. This is one of our busiest times of the year, but it is also very rewarding. Last summer, our crews put in nearly 5,000 hours on the trail. We anticipate another fun yet productive summer season in 2014.
With the cooler fall weather, we look forward to the stunning autumn colors the southern Appalachians are so famous for. We'll have a fall calendar full of weekend volunteer opportunities concluding around Thanksgiving, leaving us wondering where another year went as we move into December.
As part of the SAWS family, we hope you are also looking forward to a 2014 full of public lands stewardship and advocacy as much as we are. Join us in another year of carrying out The Wilderness Society's mission of protecting Wilderness and inspiring Americans to care for their wild places. See you on the trail!