For numerous years, the Bankhead National Forest has worked in partnership with a group of dedicated volunteers named the Wild South Helping Hands Volunteer Group.
Annually, more than 50 volunteers return to the Bankhead National Forest to help protect and restore the native ecosystem of the southeast. In 2010, volunteers devoted over 400 hours in helping the Forest Service maintain approximately 15 miles of trails, remove tons of rubbish and clear several illegal dumping sites. In addition, the “Helping Hands” volunteers planted trees, installed signs, improved glade and rock outcrop communities and inventoried canyon corridors.
The volunteer group completed a non-native invasive species (NNIS) inventory for the Sipsey Wilderness Area. As a result of the inventory, volunteers have committed to helping the Forest Service expand the removal of non-native invasive plants throughout the Bankhead National Forest. The task is difficult since removal will rely solely on the usage of hand tools to comply with wilderness regulations.
The Forest Service appreciates the dedication of the Wild South Helping Hands volunteers and many others who care for our natural resources.