Wilderness areas in West Virginia comprise 116,090 acres of the Monongahela National Forest and include Dolly Sods, Otter Creek, Roaring Plains West, Laurel Fork North, Laurel Fork South, Spice Run, Big Draft and Cranberry.
Our first Forest Service partnership outside of the Southern Region, we began working in Wild and Wonderful West Virginia in 2018 with a pair of wilderness rangers in the North Zone of the Monongahela National Forest near the Mon Forest Towns of Petersburg, Thomas, Davis, Parsons, and Elkins. We worked on visitor education, data collection, and formalizing relationships between the Forest Service and county Search and Rescue organizations to better communicate about rescues in Dolly Sods, Otter Creek, and Roaring Plains West Wildernesses.
In 2019, our Naval Academy Crew began working in Otter Creek Wilderness, clearing trails in the remote sections of the wilderness, and we worked on wilderness character monitoring efforts in four wilderness areas.
In 2020, we’ve worked across all the wilderness areas in the state, leading Wilderness Character Monitoring efforts in all 8 wildernesses, and collecting recreation data and educating visitors in highly visited areas including Dolly Sods.