What we're about
Greetings Fellow Wilderness Lover:
Do you go into the Wilderness expecting it to look like an urban city park? Does it make you sad, possibly even angry, to be in Wilderness and find man-made structures, trash, destruction of the natural habitat, even deliberate vandalism? Do you want to help do something about it? If so, this is a good group for you.
KWF is a Volunteer Service Group. We Promote Wilderness Stewardship and assist the US Forest Service by helping to maintain Wilderness Character in the Kaiser Wilderness and beyond. We work on trails and campsites, educate by example, and practice Leave No Trace. We believe Wilderness must be kept wild, and we actively pursue the goals of the Wilderness Act. We have fun, work hard, and don't mind going the extra mile to find beauty and solitude. KWF is a hiking group with a Difference - Our members are Making a Difference. We Invite you to Join Us!
So what do we actually do? We use crosscut saws and other hand tools to clear and maintain trails. We carry rocks and pine needles to naturalize campsites. We dig holes and plant signs. We pick up trash and carry it out. We talk to people on the trail and in camp. We conduct training seminars on topics like Wilderness Backpacking, Crosscut Saw Skills, Leave No Trace Principles and Practices, and Winter Wilderness Travel. We work directly with US Forest Service personnel to coordinate, educate, and promote responsible Wilderness use. We hike, we backpack, we work really hard, we generally get dirty, we raise money and we have a blast.
After you become a member, we want you to participate. We have regular field events. You are welcome to come out just for the fresh air. You can take pictures, relax, chat, explore, whatever. We would love it if you want to help with the hard work. Everyone sets their own level and everyone watches out for one another. Some of what we do is extremely physical. Members must use their own good judgement when deciding to participate. SAFETY IS OUR #1, #2, and #3 GOAL. Actually getting work done is a bonus! Every day is a training day. We love to take beginners. You do not need any special tools. If you want to work, you must wear long pants, long sleeved shirt, and good sturdy boots that cover your ankle bones. We will supply Personal Protective Equipment if needed.
We are Safety-Driven. There will be Safety Job Hazard Analysis reviews. There will be Safety TailGate sessions. There will be documents and forms you need to read and sign. We will talk about Hazards, Risk, and Mitigation. We will point out hazards along the trail, at our work sites, and in camp. We believe in leading by example. Many of our activities come with the potential for serious injury or death. We do not want you to be injured or killed. We will do our utmost to help you prepare for anticipated risk, and show you steps you can take to reduce those risks. We cannot completely eliminate risk, and we cannot guarantee your safety. If we see you engaging in unsafe practices, we will attempt to educate you. If you continue, we will ask you to leave, and you will not be invited back.
Most of what we do takes place far from roads, telephones, and hospitals. Sometimes a cellphone will work, but most of the time it is just a brick. Sometimes we have access to Forest Service communications infrastructure, but that does not always work. When we are working in the back country, we are on our own. This means we take responsibility for ourselves, our team members, and members of the general public who may be traveling through our work site. We keep ourselves aware at all times, we communicate, and we exercise good judgement.
If we haven't scared you off, at this point you're probably asking yourself, "How do I join?" Just answer a couple of simple questions - that's it! You will need to provide basic contact and emergency info. This gets sent to the Forest Service, as part of our Group Volunteer Partnership Agreement, in order to ensure that our Members are covered under the USFS Workman's Comp policy. In the unlikely chance you are injured while working in the Forest, we will do our utmost to make sure you are properly taken care of.
You must provide the following information:
Your full real name, your mailing address (PO box okay), your phone number (cell number preferred), your email address (we do not abuse it), the full name of a person to contact in case you are injured or lost, their relation to you, and that person's phone number. Your emergency contact person can be anyone you want, including another member.
We need this information before you can participate
We will ask you for it when you join. Please provide it promptly, and please be complete.
If you are not able or willing to provide this info, please do not join the group
We do not ask you for personal medical information. We expect you to use good judgement, and take care of yourself by communicating vital info if and when it is necessary.
If you read this far, Good Work! As a reward, we're hitting you up for money! Donations are gratefully accepted and essential to our activity. Our budget is funded through a combination of member donations and the periodic grant. Examples of where our money goes include: tool purchases, tool maintenance, and material purchases (e.g. trail signs). We hope to generate enough funding to one-day sponsor a summer internship with the Sierra National Forest wilderness ranger program.
Please send tax deductible donations to:
Kaiser Wilderness Foundation
C/O PFLF, Fiscal Agent
304 Ezie Avenue
Clovis, CA 93611
Thanks for your interest!
David Alexander, Executive Director
Helping Keep Wilderness Wild