Nearly 95 percent of Yosemite is designated Wilderness. Each year, thousands of hikers head into the backcountry to explore park’s pristine, undeveloped areas. As people carve informal “social” paths by walking off designated trails, pitch tents on sensitive terrain, or build fires to cook meals, however, they can inadvertently damage fragile habitat. 

In 2015, your support enabled Yosemite’s Wilderness restoration experts and volunteers, including an eight-person Student Conservation Association (SCA) crew, to work together to restore natural processes and wilderness character. Over the course of the season, they surveyed more than 4,280 acres of wilderness area, restored or managed more than 500 backcountry campsites, removed 220 illegal fire rings and treated 28 acres of invasive plants. As they worked to preserve the Yosemite Wilderness, the SCA members contributed 2,940 volunteer hours to the park while gaining valuable experience in restoration work and learning the importance of caring for the natural world.

Your support helped keep the “wild” in Yosemite’s Wilderness and inspire a new generation of park stewards.

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

Victoria Hartman

Vegetation and Ecological Restoration

Project Notes

By improving the ecological integrity and resilience of the Yosemite Wilderness, this project serves day hikers, backpackers, stock users, and future generations of all species. Youth crews help provide a pristine wilderness experience for Yosemite visitors.