Stanislaus Wilderness Volunteers and COVID-19

Stanislaus Wilderness Volunteers (SWV) in concert with the US Forest Service works to accomplish projects within the forest such as campsite restoration, trail maintenance, trash removal, signage projects and noxious weed removal. Another important component of SWV’s mission is to provide education on Leave No Trace (LNT) priniciples to assist visitors in minimizing their impact on pristine wilderness adopt best practices to preserve this valuable resource.

The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in shelter-in-place (SIP) restrictions as most of you are aware. One of the impacts is the issuance of a forest order that essentially closes the forest for recreation. We expect this restriction could be lifted in the not-too-distant future, but as of this writing, there is no firm date of opening. This has had several direct impacts to the work that SWV performs including rescheduling our annual season opening event and will likely push a number of scheduled project work day events farther out into the summer.

Weather does not appear to be an issue to access the front and back country this year due to a very mild and dry winter. So access will most likely be governed by the SIP and Forest Order restrictions. SWV Leadership is working on protocols and processes to enable our volunteers to work effectively and safely once access to the forest is granted. There could still be requirements for example for face masks and maintaining social distancing. As these conditions become clearer, we will be updating the website the most current information available.

As of this writing, most of the Forest Service Roads on the Emigrant and Calaveras side of the Stanislaus National Forest until June 30 2020. The details of the closure order, Forest Order STF 16-2020-04 can be found at this link: https://www.fs.usda.gov/Internet/FSE_DOCUMENTS/fseprd732152.pdf

To the SWV Volunteers, thank you for all you do. For non-members of SWV, please contact SWV in you are interested in applying for membership, donating time or funds by contacting president

Thank you.
Jeff Hawley
President, Stanislaus Wilderness Volunteers

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