Early this July the Stanislaus Wilderness Volunteers received the 2011 National Wilderness Aldo Leopold Award for Overall Wilderness Stewardship Program. "This prestigious award is a well-deserved, high profile recognition for our dedicated wilderness volunteers. It's a tremendous benefit for the Forest, local community, and visiting public to have such highly motivated, enthusiastic, and professional individuals working together to improve recreational opportunities, and to ensure enduring wilderness values for future generations to enjoy," said Forest Supervisor Susan Skalski.
Stanislaus Wilderness Volunteers (SWV) members have over 60 members contributing over 4500 hours of service in 2010. The organization was formed in 1991 by a group of citizens who shared a love of wilderness in response to critical needs for the protection of wilderness. SWV members provide education to wilderness visitors, perform work projects and monitor wilderness resources in support of the US Forest Service. These activities include trail maintenance, habitat restoration, campsite cleanup, maintenance of trail signage, removal of non-native invasive plants and teaching Leave No Trace outdoor skills and ethics. SWV also partners on many projects with Back Country Horsemen of California, Mid Valley Unit.
To learn more about Stanislaus Wilderness Volunteers visit their website at: www.snfv.org
SWV has recently increased its ability to perform volunteer work through the use of grants obtained by SWV itself and by the Forest Service. SWV sponsored two interns for the 2011 summer season with grant funds provided by the National Forest Foundation. Grants awarded through the Tuolumne County Recreational Committee last year and again this year, are supporting SWV’s efforts to remove accumulations of trash from the wilderness. These and other grants, including one from the Tides Foundation California Wilderness Grassroots Fund to co-sponsor a Leave No Trace Master Educator Course in partnership with the Stanislaus National Forest and Yosemite National Park, have helped bring national recognition to SWV as a leader in volunteer work for the Forest Service.