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Wilderness Skills Institute (WSI) is a free two-week training and capacity-building opportunity organized by SAWS, the Appalachian Trail Conservancy, and the U.S. Forest Service.


Hosted at the Cradle of Forestry in America near Brevard, NC each year, WSI features courses designed to provide volunteers, agency staff, and partners with skills-based training and opportunities for growth and development in the areas of wilderness, stewardship, and visitor engagement.

Since its inaugural year in 2011, an estimated 1,050 individuals have attended the Wilderness Skills Institute! Visit the WSI website here to learn more. The application portal opens in mid-February, come join us for the best two weeks of the year!

    Past course offerings include

  • Wilderness First Aid

  • Crosscut Saw Certification

  • Leave No Trace Trainer and Master Educator

  • Visitor Use Management

  • Partnering for Public Lands

  • Disaster Response in Wilderness

  • Trail Building and Maintenance

  • Rock Splitting and Shaping

  • Trail Design and Realignment

  • Wilderness Character Monitoring

  • Crosscut Saw Sharpening

  • Tool Restoration and Rehandling

  • Public Encounter Training

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