What is a Volunteer Wilderness Ranger? The Volunteer Wilderness Ranger (VWR) program began in 2010 to provide a consistent stewardship presence in wilderness areas. A VWR is a volunteer tasked with patrolling wilderness trails. During the hike (i.e. patrol), the VWR will greet the public, take opportunities to educate fellow hikers, and survey trail conditions. Because this volunteer position interacts directly with the public, representing Wild Alabama and the U.S. Forest Service, a VWR must attend the extensive annual two-day training and shadow a current VWR on patrols before officially joining the program. VWRs must adhere to the policies and guidelines within the field guide, as set by the U.S. Forest Service and Wild Alabama.
Program Goals & Objectives
EDUCATE wilderness visitors on Leave No Trace ethics, the Wilderness Act, the importance of preserving wilderness characteristics, etc.
INFORM the public about closure orders, site-specific regulations, etc.
MONITOR trail conditions, public use numbers, invasive species, etc.
LEAD by example through stewardship workdays, trail maintenance, picking up trash, etc.
REPORTillegal actions, suspected wilderness violations, public safety concerns, etc.