Wilderness Monitoring

We are seeking volunteers to provide valuable data to the US Forest Service (USFS) about Wilderness areas in Georgia. After a short virtual or in-person training, you can sign up to hike along the Appalachian Trail and other popular trails and document the number of visitors you encounter. This is a great opportunity for college credit in applicable courses such as social change, environmental studies, land management, and/or GIS.

Since the Wilderness Act of 1964, we have been fortunate to have permanently protected areas of land where one can go to get away from the hustle and bustle of development and human noise. We call these protected areas Wilderness (with a capital “W”) and we want to keep them wild, for our sake and for the wonderful native plants and animals found there.

Georgia ForestWatch, in partnership with Southern Appalachian Wilderness Stewards (SAWS) and the US Forest Service, is coordinating trained volunteers and communicating valuable data so USFS Recreation Managers can make the best decisions regarding Wilderness areas

Georgia ForestWatch’s mission is to enhance the health of over 867,000 acres of Georgia’s national forest by protecting our forests and streams, advocating for natural processes, and identifying opportunities to improve forest management.

Are you interested in counting visitors along favorite trails? Help collect data on the number of people and dogs along a trail listed below:

AT Blood Mt/Byron Herbert Reece (Blood Mountain Wilderness) 

One of the most popular places to hike on the Chattahoochee National Forest, thanks to the view from the top of Blood Mountain.

Woody Gap to Jarrard Gap (Blood Mountain Wilderness)

Located where the Appalachian Trail crosses GA 60, Woody Gap is the southern entrance into the Blood Mountain Wilderness. A popular trailhead for both day-hikers and backpackers taking on multiday trips with a year-round water source.

Sign up now for training resources and join us for what we consider the best volunteer opportunity of the year!

Wilderness Monitoring

Volunteers Needed!

We will collect the data from June-October 2022, and every effort will be made to hit all ten days (five weekdays and five weekends/holidays) in one monitoring area in the same year.

SUCCESS! We have completed the following areas for the 2022 season:

Raven Cliffs Falls (Raven Cliffs Wilderness)

This trail leading up to Raven Cliff Falls is one of Georgia’s most heavily used trails in the Wilderness.

Questions: Please contact Andrew Linker, Outreach Coordinator alinker@gafw.org | 770.530.3287