Most of Yosemite — nearly 95 percent — is congressionally designated wilderness, the highest level of protection for public lands. For decades, donors have supported efforts to restore and protect the Yosemite Wilderness.

Keep It Wild volunteers, including a five-week youth crew, work with park professionals to restore the wild character of Yosemite’s backcountry by addressing notable human impacts, including inappropriately located campsites and informal “social” trails that can cause erosion, impair natural processes and disrupt solitude. They also remove invasive flora that threaten native species. As they survey thousands of acres, crews work to make ecosystems more resilient, so future generations will be able to experience the natural wonders of Yosemite’s backcountry.

With your support in 2019, the Keep It Wild program continued to ensure the long-term health of the Yosemite Wilderness while inspiring new nature stewards. During the 2019 season, park crews, volunteers and Student Conservation Association members surveyed more than 10,000 acres, and removed or cleaned up nearly 800 backcountry campsites.

Completed in partnership with Yosemite National Park and Student Conservation Association.

Victoria Hartman

Restoration Ecologist, Yosemite National Park

Project Notes

The Yosemite Wilderness provides all its users, from experienced Pacific Crest Trail and John Muir Trail hikers to families on their first day hike, a chance to learn about themselves, connect with Yosemite’s cultural and natural heritage, and fall in love with wild, intact ecosystems.