Nature and Grief: The Reconciliation

Written by Emma Bouchard   My brother passed on the cusp of fall. A time when trees become open and vulnerable, as the forest quietly surrenders itself to the universe. This is what grieving is like. Suddenly there you are, deeply rooted and bare branched, in a never-ending winter. For a while, you live in gray-scale […]

Wild Things, Part 2: The Pipevine Swallowtail

Written By David Greene To the right is a pipevine swallowtail caterpillar (Battus philenor). No doubt that you have probably seen dozens of the butterflies that these bad boys become. Swallowtail butterflies are some of the largest and most common butterflies found here in the Southern Appalachian Mountains. Let me point out a few neat […]

Wild Things, Part 1: Ganoderma

Written by David Greene   Chances are that if you have been hiking the Southern Appalachians in the last few years, you’ve come across some of these shiny, orange and red mushrooms.  They are Ganoderma tsugae, or the hemlock varnish shelf, and they are a sign of the changing times. Since the introduction of the […]

Dispatches From the Field: Connection in Disconnection

By: A SAWS Seasonal Employee As a young person (or any person) in this day and age, it is practically impossible to live a productive life without being connected through some sort of technology. For some it may come naturally to view this connection as purely beneficial. We can share ideas globally in an instant, […]

Dispatches from the Field: Knobby Knees and Big Trees

By Katie Kull The first time I experienced Joyce Kilmer – Slickrock Wilderness, I was 6 years old. Like many local families, we had loaded into our Jeep that day to hike the Memorial Loop in Joyce Kilmer Memorial Forest, and, more specifically, to see the Big Trees. I was an eager child, with knobby […]

Dispatches From the Field: The Dumbest Thing

“That’s about the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard,” Coker Creek native and all-around burley boy, Jacob reminds me of his frustration of us not bringing the chainsaw into Joyce Kilmer-Slickrock Wilderness. I heard him say “That’s about the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard” about nine times before we put the truck in Park at the […]

Dispatches from the Field: Trail Capitan’s Log

Trail Capitan’s Log Capitan Matt McWilliams Citico Creek Wilderness This July the 21st, in the year of 2017, Midsummer’s night marks the departure of our trusty vessel, Pedro the van, west, towards the Citico Creek wilds. Little did we know that even before setting foot on wilderness soil, we would be encountering strange beasts. While […]

Dispatches from the Field: Jumping In

By Jennifer Millsaps Anxious. Socially awkward. That’s me in a nutshell. I didn’t quite know what I was getting myself into when I applied for a crew member position with Southern Appalachian Wilderness Stewards. As a forestry major, I was primarily focused on gaining some field experience to spruce up my resume for future internship […]

Naval Academy Midshipmen join SAWS staff for training weekend

SAWS hosted eleven US Naval Academy Midshipmen at Cave Mountain Lake Campground in Natural Bridge Station, VA for a weekend of orientation and fellowship. The Midshipmen learned about SAWS, public lands, designated Wilderness, Leave No Trace, and were oriented to stewardship work and life on a SAWS crew to prepare them for the upcoming season. […]

SAWS expands work in Virginia

SAWS opened a new regional office in Roanoke, VA this week. The Roanoke based staff will focus on the partnership role SAWS plays for the stewardship of federally designated Wilderness areas and other undeveloped landscapes on the George Washington and Jefferson National Forests in Virginia. The new office location allows SAWS to better integrate into, […]