PETERSBURG, W.Va. – Dolly Sods Wilderness in Monongahela National Forest has been made Leave No Trace’s 2022 Leave No Trace Hot Spot. From Sept. 29 to Oct. 3, a Subaru/Leave No Trace Team will work to help stop and reverse damage from overuse in the Sods.

“Hot Spot locations are heavily damaged but can recover with the help of a motivated community and an encompassing infusion of Leave No Trace programming. Centered around training, these efforts include a series of targeted workshops and community outreach events conducted by expert Leave No Trace educators,” said Dana Watts, executive director of the Leave No Trace organization. “Our goal is to put these Hot Spot areas on the road to recovery, while also creating aspirational guidance and recommendations for public lands across the globe.”

Hot Spots are popular outdoor areas across the country that have experienced heavy recreational use and human-created impacts, including excessive trash, damage to vegetation, trail erosion, disturbance to wildlife and more.

The following Dolly Sods Hot Spot events are free and open to the public:

  • Saturday, Oct. 1: Meet Subaru/Leave No Trace Team Members and U.S. Forest Service staff to learn how to enjoy the outdoors responsibly and for fun, family-friendly educational activities. The Leave No Trace booth will be near the Family Activity Area from noon to 6 p.m. during ArtOber FEST 2022 at Timberline Resort in Canaan Valley.
  • Sunday, Oct. 2: Volunteer to clean up campsites and trails on the western side of the Wilderness. Those interested must be able to hike several miles on uneven terrain. Volunteers must also dress for the weather and wear long pants and closed-toe shoes. Anyone under 18 must be accompanied by their parent or guardian. The group will meet up at Canaan Valley National Wildlife Refuge Visitor Center at 10 a.m. and will return to the Visitor Center by 4 p.m. To sign up, email Brooke Andrew at brooke.andrew@usda.gov or by stopping by the Leave No Trace table at ArtOber FEST.

Those interested should be aware that the main entrance to the area is currently closed.

To learn more about Leave No Trace, visit http://www.LNT.org. For more information about the Dolly Sods Leave No Trace Hot Spot events, contact Monongahela National Forest at (304)-257-4488. More information on the Monongahela National Forest can be found at https://www.fs.usda.gov/mnf or https://www.facebook.com/MonongahelaNF.