The Wilderness Skills Institute is a training partnership between the Appalachian Trail Conservancy, the United States Forest Service and Southern Appalachian Wilderness Stewards. Started in 2011, the Institute currently features two weeks of training hosted each year in the spring at the Cradle of Forestry facility outside of Brevard, North Carolina on the Pisgah Ranger District of the Pisgah National Forest.
Wilderness work requires a special scope of skills. This program is designed to provide volunteers, agency and partnership staff and others opportunities for growth within these unique skill sets. Each year, courses are selected to provide skills training for all levels of experience, from those new to stewardship to those who have been stewarding wilderness for decades. Training through the Institute is provided for free to accepted students, and free camping is available on site for those wishing to take advantage of the facilities. The Institute an excellent opportunity for connecting with Wilderness stewards across the region both inside and outside of the classroom.