Hot Spot

Dolly Sods Wilderness | Sept. 29-Oct.3, 2022

Cortland, WV

Located in West Virginia, Dolly Sods Wilderness in the Monongahela National Forest is 17,371 acres and part of the National Wilderness Preservation System. It is located in Grant, Randolph, and Tucker Counties and contains much of the Red Creek drainage. There has been a continuing trend of increased visitation at Dolly Sods over the past two decades, with a significant spike during the Covid-19 pandemic. This has lead to an increase in impacts, most prominent of which have been damage to vegetation and trees, camping-related impacts, and group use impacts. For the Hot Spot activation, the Subaru/Leave No Trace Team will be at Dolly Sods leading a variety of workshops, outreach programs and community events, including opportunities for community involvement.

*Dolly Sods Wilderness is located on the ancestral lands of the Massawomeck and possibly other tribes*


During the Hot Spot activation, the Subaru/Leave No Trace Team led a variety of workshops, outreach programs and community events at Dolly Sods Wilderness. Solutions included instilling best practices among those who visit the area and helping to provide a framework for common ground among the varied user groups. Education opportunities primarily revolve around staff and volunteer training, bolstering online information, and onsite programming efforts. There is an opportunity for continued collaboration between Leave No Trace, the Forest Service, the West Virginia Highlands Conservancy, and the numerous guides and outfitters that work within Dolly Sods to help curb impacts. The Hot Spot reached 351 people with stewardship education and activated volunteers and successfully conducted 6 educational programs over 5 days.

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