Women In The Wilderness
WiW takes a group of 6 to 8 women of color, ages of 18-24, with no prior backpacking experience, on an introductory, but immersive, trip into the backcountry. The goal is to provide a great wilderness experience and a pathway to stewardship and employment in natural resource management.
The most underrepresented demographic in natural resource management is women of color. This program increases the diversity in the parks and forest services and creates lifelong stewards of the environment. Persons of color cannot be expected to have an investment in the National Parks if they haven't experienced the Parks first hand. WiW is a small but easily replicated model that would work anywhere. It is a step in solving the problem because it is aimed at creating future stewards of the environment derived from an underrepresented group.
The trip is either an 8-day point-to-point or in-and-out 40+ mile hike. The WiW women are paired with CCC Backcountry crewmembers, also women, who instruct them in the skills necessary to do the project work. (invasive plant removal, fuel reduction, trail construction) combined with daily curricula, such as pathways to careers in the NPS, map and compass use, plant identification, and Leave No Trace. Experts in each area of the curriculum present daily instruction. The supervisory staff is alumni of the CCC Backcountry Trails Program.