The Wilderness Skills Institute is a training partnership between the Appalachian Trail Conservancy, the United States Forest Service and The Wilderness Society‘s Southern Appalachian Wilderness Stewards program. Started in 2011, the Institute features two weeks of training hosted each year at the Cradle of Forestry facility outside of Brevard, North Carolina on the Pisgah Ranger District of the Pisgah National Forest.
Wilderness work requires a special scope of skills. This program is designed to provide volunteers, agency and partnership staff and others opportunities for growth within these unique skill sets. Each year the two-week agenda is set providing educational and skill certification in areas designed for those new to Wilderness Stewardship and those that have been participating for years. Training through the Institute is provided for free to accepted students, and free camping on site is available as well. There are planned social activities throughout both weeks, making the Institute an excellent opportunity for connecting with Wilderness stewards across the region and country both inside and outside of the classroom.
The application process for the 2015 Wilderness Skills Institute will go live in January of 2015. The 2015 Wilderness Skills Institute will be held May 18-29, 2015.