What We Do

Founded in 2010, the 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 our backyard. 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; to advance justice, equity, diversity and inclusivity in the outdoors; and to educate, train, and develop a skilled workforce to be the next conservation stewards and conservation leaders.

Headquartered in Asheville, NC and with an office in Roanoke, VA, we focus our efforts on wilderness areas and public lands throughout the southern Appalachian region. We regularly work in North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Tennessee, Arkansas, 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 ten national forests, including the George Washington-Jefferson, Monongahela, Nantahala, Pisgah, Francis Marion, Sumpter, Cherokee, Chattahoochee-Oconee, Daniel Boone and Ozark-St. Francis National Forests. We work with communities and partners across that landscape, including stewardship groups, trail clubs and conservation organizations; partners who work on the Appalachian Trail; Tribal Nations and BIPOC-led organizations; and community leaders, colleges and universities, and businesses in rural towns and 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 and jobs in conservation.

Learn more about our program areas below

Stewardship

 

Delivering boots-on-the-ground and wilderness expertise

Education

 

Sharing knowledge, appreciation and skills for wild public lands and stewardship

Partnership

By sharing knowledge, increasing  capacity, & combining resources we can do more together

Wilderness

Relevancy

Building relevance for wilderness and public lands, engaging the next generation of public lands enthusiasts

Workforce Development

Creating equitable job and career opportunities for young conservation  professionals 

Community Engagement

Connecting with communities to find the overlap of their priorities and our work

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Mountains

CONTACT US

ADDRESS

225 E Chestnut St, STE 001

Asheville, NC 28801

PHONE

828-785-1517

EMAIL

© 2020 by Southern Appalachian Wilderness Stewards