Wilderness stewardship meeting Tuesday, April 25

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If you enjoy getting out and enjoying your beautiful public lands, you may want to consider becoming a Wilderness Steward and helping care for these areas while you’re out there. The Wilderness Stewardship Program provides an opportunity for citizens to enjoy their favorite outdoor settings with friends and family while making a difference for the wild places they love.

The U.S. Forest Service and the Idaho Conservation League (ICL) initiated the Wilderness Stewardship Program in 2016, the first of its kind in Idaho. The goal of this program is to engage the outdoor community in restoring, protecting, and enhancing wilderness character within the newly designated Hemingway-Boulders, Jim McClure-Jerry Peak and White Clouds wildernesses as well as in the Sawtooth Wilderness.

Any individual who is committed to volunteering their time to restoring, protecting and enhancing wilderness character can apply to be a Wilderness Steward. If a group effort is preferred, designated Wilderness Stewards can choose to involve their friends or family members in their conservation work too.

Stewards choose their own patrol areas within the Hemingway-Boulders, Jim McClure-Jerry Peak, White Clouds, and Sawtooth wildernesses. For example a Steward might choose a favorite location or a new area they’d like to explore, such as Alice Lake in the Sawtooth Wilderness or Boulder Chain Lakes in the White Cloud Wilderness.

After adopting their “wild places,” Stewards become on-the-ground guardians for the summer. Among their duties, they will select an area to patrol each month to inventory, monitor and improve wilderness conditions, collect data on wildlife encounters, trail conditions, visitor use, and invasive plants, communicate wilderness messages to visitors and do general cleanup.

If you treasure these wild places and love being out in them, this is a great opportunity to become involved, get out in the mountains and give back to the land. An information session will be held at 6 p.m., Tuesday, April 25, at the ICL office, 110 W 5th Street, Ketchum. Attendees will have the opportunity to meet other Wilderness Stewards and learn more about the program. For more information, contact Betsy Mizell, bmizell@idahoconservation.org or (208) 726-7485.

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