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  • JJ McGinnis

Solitude Monitoring Stewardship Opportunities 2021

Updated: Jun 24, 2021

The following outings are a part of the WWA stewardship program, Solitude Monitoring. In the place of our traditional wildland outings, these trainings look to rallying our hiking community to both get out onto the wildlands we are working protect, while also empowering a team of volunteers in meeting the need of critical wilderness management and protection. Please note that these locations have all been pre-determined by our the National Forest partners as data collection sites. Some are not system trails and are low use areas that WWA does not encourage you to access beyond the needs of this program. With that said, all trained volunteers are asked to return to the area they were trained at least one additional time before the end of September to contribute a data collection of their own. After that, we encourage trained volunteers to visit other areas on this list to help us collect abundant data across both forests. By joining these outings, you will be equipped with the skills to be a part of one of the easiest and vital volunteer stewardship opportunities around and we thank you in advance for your participation.

What is Solitude Monitoring? Solitude monitoring is required of both the Caribou-Targhee and Bridger-Teton National Forests (CTNF and BTNF) through a program called Wilderness Stewardship Performance. Forests that manage designated Wilderness areas are scored on how well they address different elements e.g., solitude. Both the CTNF and BTNF need our help gathering more data so they can increase their score, and so they can better understand the user experience within the Wilderness areas they manage. Many hands - or in this case, feet - make for light work! Solitude Monitoring Training will be included in the following outings: Friday, June 18th | Highline Trail | Gros Ventre Wilderness | Moderate Join Wyoming Wilderness Association as we join forces with BTNF Wilderness Rangers and partnering organization, The Friends of the Bridger-Teton to offer this incredible scenic hike along the Highline Trail in the Gros Ventre Wilderness. This is the first of several opportunities to receive in-person training on our citizen science stewardship project, Solitude Monitoring! Learn how to gather simple data as you hike, and become a part of our National Forest’s efforts to manage the wild places we love. Accessed via the Granite Creek Road, the High Line hike is perfectly situated for folks from Teton, Sublette and Lincoln County! Sunday, June 27th | Bitch Creek | Jedediah Smith Wilderness | Difficult Located in the northern part of the Teton Range within the Jedediah Smith Wilderness, Bitch Creek is a low traffic trail that is sure to inspire all who venture there. Lead by WWA Associate Director, Peggie dePasquale and our partners from the Great Old Broads for Wilderness, this hike will also serve as the second in-person training for our citizen science stewardship project, Solitude Monitoring. Saturday, July 3rd | Table Mountain Gros Ventre Wilderness accessed from Curtis Canyon | Easy (Please note that this is not the Table Mountain in the Jedediah Smith Wilderness) This hike is another installment of our Solitude Monitoring training schedule, where you will be deputized as a citizen scientist in WWA’s fastest growing stewardship effort! If you enjoy views of the Sleeping Indian from the Jackson valley, you’ll be amazed by the perspective from this incredible jaunt up Table Mountain in the Gros Ventre Wilderness. This data collection area is hard to find on your own, so don’t miss your chance to join this training with BTNF Wilderness Rangers and WWA. Friday, July 9th | Dry Ridge | Jedediah Smith Wilderness | Moderate Don’t let the name scare you off, this hike will amaze all who attend as it gains and explores a remote ridge line located on the West Slope of the Teton Range. Learn from CTNF Wilderness Rangers about their work to manage this backyard Wilderness area while also getting trained in Solitude Monitoring, a citizen science stewardship project organized by WWA. When all public land users play a role in caring for the wild world, our chances of ensuring it for future generations become a lot greater. Please get involved with this user-friendly data collection, and do your part. Saturday-Monday July 10-12 |Turquoise Lake (Overnight) Gros Ventre Wilderness | Difficult There are few places more worth the trek than this beautiful alpine lake tucked high in the Gros Ventre Range. Join the Wyoming Wilderness Association as we backpack on this scenic overnight in the name of solitude! This backpacking trip is an installment in our citizen science stewardship project aimed at empowering volunteer driven data collection on the opportunities for solitude within our backyard Wilderness areas! Wednesday, July 14th | Tin Cup Trail (Andy Stone) Jedediah Smith Wilderness | Easy This out and back day-hike will offer an enticing glimpse at one of the most worthwhile backpacking trips on the West Slope of the Tetons. A trail often utilized to access high Alpine Lakes in upper North and South Leigh Canyon; the Tin Cup trail takes users on a beautiful meander through conifer forests before opening into a spectacular collection of high mountain meadows. Wildflowers and Teton Views will ensure there is never a dull moment. Along the way, WWA will also offer detailed training on Solitude Monitoring, a citizen science-based stewardship project. Friday, July 16 | Sheep Mountain | Gros Ventre Wilderness | Difficult Sheep Mountain aka Sleeping Indian is one of the most spectacular mountain summits accessible from Jackson Hole. With awe inspiring 360-degree views, this long climb is surely worth every step! While the Teton Range to the west has never looked more impressive, the peaking wildflowers in mid-July arguably steal the show. Sheep Mountain is one of several data collection areas for a National Forest solitude monitoring effort supported by a WWA organized citizen science stewardship project. Don’t miss this opportunity to be involved in an incredible hike, while also learning one of the easiest ways to support your land managers! Friday- Saturday July 30-31 | Moose Lake Basin (Overnight) | Difficult One of the most easily accessed Wilderness trailheads in the Northwest corner of Wyoming, also happens to be the starting point for one of the most spectacular overnight trips in the entire Teton range, Moose Lake Basin. This year WWA is excited to cap off our Solitude Monitoring training in this backcountry paradise. Learn to carry out the protocols that enable our National Forest partners to maintain opportunities for that thing called “solitude”, and don’t forget to pack a swimsuit.

If you're interested in joining a training: email, or call 307.672.2751

For those who are looking to meet a new community through this program, WWA has organized a listserv where those trained can organize additional solitude monitoring excursions together and meet new hiking partners. Stay tuned for details!

A big thanks to the National Wilderness Stewardship Alliance and the Community Foundation of Jackson Hole who's generous support makes this volunteer program possible.

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