The Stanislaus Wilderness Volunteers were formed in 1991 by a group of citizens with a love of the wilderness in response to a crisis situation in the management of our region’s wilderness areas. Recreation visits to Forest Service lands had jumped from 4.6 million in 1924 to 900 million in 1999, while federal budgets for land management are being reduced. Americans are “loving their parks to death”.

Wilderness is an irreplaceable American resource, a fragile environment most vulnerable to the increasing number of visitors. Nearly 1/4 of the Stanislaus National Forest is Designated Wilderness. The Emigrant, Carson-Iceberg and Mokelumne Wilderness Areas represent a magnificent segment of the Sierra Nevada…John Muir’s Range of Light. Stanislaus Wilderness Volunteers educate the public to prevent damage to the wilderness, and engage in projects to restore areas impacted by overuse.

In 2003 SWV established itself as a non-profit corporation with 32 members. Through recruiting, in 2005 the SWV increased membership to 61 volunteers. The efforts of these volunteers won “The Chief’s Volunteer Program National Award”. Dale Bosworth, Chief of the U.S. Forest Service cited SWV “for devoting thousands of hours to the restoration and protection of Wilderness on the Stanislaus National Forest through education, example, maintenance and restoration.” SWV is the 2011 recipient of the U.S. Forest Service’s prestigious Aldo Leopold Award for Overall Wilderness Stewardship Program.

The work accomplished each year by Stanislaus Wilderness Volunteers includes maintenance of trails, trail signage repair, campsite cleanup, trash removal, habitat restoration, invasive weed removal, various monitoring projects and Leave No Trace (LNT) education for wilderness users.

Leave No Trace Outdoor Ethics are best practices used to prevent ecological damage to wilderness areas (www.lnt.org, for more information). Stanislaus Wilderness Volunteers are trained in these practices, and in how to train others.


Become a member of SWV and join our dedicated team of volunteers. Our membership application is available on this website.


Please contact Stanislaus Wilderness Volunteers at president@swv1.org

A California Non-profit Corporation, Registration #CT0171922
Summit Ranger District – Stanislaus National Forest – 1 Pinecrest Lake Road – Pinecrest, CA 95364