/ Modified jul 13, 2013 8:08 a.m.

AZ Group Seeks Volunteers for Wilderness Areas

Coalition offers steward training to monitor 1 million acres of back country.

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Volunteers for the Arizona Wilderness Coalition go to remote places.

The coalition has trained 50 stewards that monitor wilderness areas in the Prescott, Coconino and Tonto National Forests.

Arizona has 90 wilderness areas, essentially undisturbed by development.

Sam Frank, central Arizona director for the AWC, said the volunteers received specialized training that allows them to gather data while on wilderness treks. The data is then used by the U.S. Forest Service and coalition.

Frank said the group is offering a one-day class in Mesa Saturday to train people to monitor the more than 1 million acres of Arizona “wild backcountry”.

“The training covers a wide range of things: everything from education about wilderness history, the legal parameter around wilderness, ways to be safe when they are out in the field, ... how to identify nonnative plants versus native plants, [and] how to report the findings they get," Frank said. "It covers a bit of everything."

Frank emphasized that the course is not survival training.

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