Volunteers needed for Red – Cockaded Woodpecker Identification!

Red-cockaded Woodpecker (RCW) volunteers needed!

Volunteers needed to help identify red-cockaded woodpecker juveniles as they enter their roost cavities in the evening in Francis Marion National Forest. The birds enter their cavities for the evening about ½ hour before sunset. Currently (10/7) they are going in the cavities around 6:00 to 6:40 p.m. Times will change as the sun sets earlier. Locations are mostly near McClellanville but there are locations along Halfway Creek Road and in the Cain Hoy/Green Bay area (Hoover Road).

This is part of a project to reintroduce/ relocate banded juvenile red-cockaded woodpeckers (a federally endangered species) to the ACE Basin. We plan to capture 20 juveniles the first week of November and I need to identify approximately 40 roost trees prior to the capture night. I need help in identifying leg bands on RCWs in the evening when they roost. No experience is necessary, but you will be standing in the forest, with some mosquitoes, and may only catch a quick glimpse of a RCW at dusk as they enter their cavity. Personal transportation, spotting scope, some prior bird watching experience and commitment to a few evenings are preferred.

Please contact Larry Wood if you are interested.
Larry Wood

Larry Wood
Wildlife Investigations, LLC
10033 S Carolina RD
McClellanville, SC 29458

Next Butterfly Walk on October 25

We will be having a Butterfly Walk on Saturday, October 25 at Caw Caw interpretive center. Chet Morse from Caw Caw will come along with us on the walk.
Caw Caw Interpretive Center is located on Savannah Highway: 5200 Savannah Hwy, Ravenel, SC
It’s very beautiful out there and should make a good walk spot!

Admission is $1/person.

We will meet at 9 am. Please bring your own binoculars and field guide. Also remember a water bottle!

I will be unable to attend due to work constraints. If you are a seasoned butterflier and would like to help lead this walk, please email me and let me know.

Thank you all,

Amanda Szwarc

Environmental Educator & Butterfly House Curator
Cypress Gardens
(P) 843.553.0515

Want to Volunteer with Butterflies?

Cypress Gardens is looking for a few flexible and reliable volunteers to help in their butterfly garden. Volunteers are needed to help clean and interact with the public. This is a great chance to get up and close to those butterflies! If interested, contact Amanda Szwarc
Aszwarc@berkeleycountysc.gov 843-553-0515

Wood Magic Volunteers Needed October. 6-10

Last week’s Wood Magic at the Piedmont Forestry Center came together and went well! Now it’s time to make sure the same happens for the Harbison State Forest event October 6-10.

Below are the volunteer positions still vacant. If you have not already volunteered for this event and are able to, please consider volunteering for one of the following positions:

Monday, 6th 2 Sawmill instructors
1 Good Fire/Bad Fire instructor
1 food service

Tuesday, 7th 2 Sawmill instructors
1 Paper Making instructor
1 Good Fire/Bad Fire instructor

Wednesday, 8th 2 Sawmill instructors
1 Good Fire/Bad Fire instructors

Thursday, 9th 1 Guide
1 Sawmill instructor
2 Paper Making instructors
1 food service

Friday, 10th 4 Guides
1 Sawmill instructor
2 food service

Thank you, and I look forward to another great Wood Magic!

Stephanie Kolok skolok@scfc.gov or 803-896-8855

Waterkeeper Volunteers Needed!

Join our team as a volunteer Field Investigator for the Recreational Water Quality Monitoring Program! Field Investigators assist in collection of water samples from both boat and land sites. Volunteers meet our staff on Wednesday mornings at 7:30 AM and sampling normally lasts about 4 hours. Training is required of all volunteers. Sampling runs from May through October. Contact Cheryl for more information.



Contact: Cheryl Carmack cheryl@charlestonwaterkeeper.org 843-607-3390

Francis Marion Recreation Public Meeting

On Saturday, August 16, the Francis Marion National Forest hosted another of their ongoing series of topical meetings to engage the public in the current Forest Plan Revision.   This meeting covered prospective additions to wilderness areas, wild and scenic river designations, and possible expansion of recreational and cultural awareness activities. At the outset, those seemed to me to be simple questions. Why not, I asked, protect our precious natural resources as much as possible?   Over the course of the meeting, I discovered that the planners have very challenging choices to find balance between competing objectives.


The Francis Marion National Forest already contains four designated wilderness areas in the National Wilderness Preservation System: Hell Hole Bay, Wambaw Creek, Little Wambaw Swamp, and Wambaw Swamp.   The planning process requires that the Forest Service identify and evaluate additional areas that might meet the eligibility requirements for new wilderness areas. One new separate area and several expansions of existing areas have been identified.

Planners next step will be an evaluation phase, which is where the challenges come in. The restrictions that are part of wilderness designation may conflict with other important objectives in the forest plan. For example, restoring Longleaf Pine to more of its historic range is a major goal but the wilderness area prohibition of wheeled vehicles would make it more difficult and expensive to maintain fire breaks and conduct the prescribed burns necessary for Longleaf to prosper. Other forest personnel involved in protecting rare habitats and threatened/endangered species might also be less successful if hindered by wilderness area restrictions. After the evaluation phase, the Forest Supervisor decides whether or not to recommend any wilderness area. The decision is then outside the Forest Service, requiring approval by a review board and finally an act of Congress.

One topic of discussion following the wilderness area presentation was a question from local firefighters about ATV rescues in a wilderness area. The answers were that the forest supervisor can authorize wheeled rescues and that the forest personnel present had recorded a follow up note of “911 coordination”.

Wild and Scenic Rivers

There are currently no wild and scenic rivers in the Francis Marion National Forest. As required, planners have identified streams that might be eligible for such designation, including sections of the lower Santee River, Wambaw Creek, Echaw Creek, Wabdoo Creek, and Awendaw Creek.

Wild and scenic river designation is less restrictive than wilderness area designation but would include a commitment by forest managers to preserving the unique ecological, scenic, recreation and cultural values that qualified the stream. One of the identified streams, Wambaw Creek, is inside a wilderness area and already enjoys substantial protection. The full course of another, Wabdoo Creek, is largely outside the forest and therefore outside forest managers’ ability to protected the associated values.


For purposes of planning additional recreation opportunities, planners have divided the forest into four zones that each present unique recreational potential. Somewhat simplified, that division is a coastal zone that with salt water access and rich cultural assets, two eastern zones along the Santee River (one rich with wilderness and one with roads offering scenic drive potential), and one western zone along the Wando with the most convenient access from the Charleston urban area.

The Wando zone contains a Wildlife Management Area where hunting takes place and there is already some history of conflict between hunting and non-hunting users. The prospect of additional non-hunting activity, e.g. with expanded horse and hiking trails, generated the most intense comments by attendees. This is a very difficult issue for forest managers for several reasons. They are mandated to be non-political but hunting regulation in South Carolina is, in fact, very political. Also, there are quite a few agencies involved besides just the U.S. Forest Service: U.S. Fish and Wildlife manages the WMA, SC DNR manages hunting, and local law enforcement has jurisdiction. Many, if not all, of those agencies have mixed use mandates, so they need to accommodate the conflicting uses. I and several other attendees argued that managers from all of those agencies simply must sit down together to work out a coordinated plan for managing and minimizing the conflict. Perhaps the plan could, at least, contain additional public education and more transparent coordination of law enforcement.

Challenging Choices

Having identified potential wilderness additions, wild and scenic river designations, and recreational expansions, planners are now tasked with analyzing the benefits, costs, and conflicts. Those of us who love the forest should be glad that there are forest planners and managers who are willing and able navigate such complex problems that have no simple, obvious solutions. It will be very interesting to see what they propose at subsequent public meetings.

Written by Carl W. Cole, Master Naturalist


Additional reading:

Francis Marion National Forest Plan Revision 2012 – 2016


Volunteers for CCPR in Oct., Nov. & Dec.

Two opportunities are listed below:

We need 3 volunteers each night for 15 nights at our Holiday Festival of Lights @ James Island County Park. These volunteers will manage our resource recovery stations (recycling, compost, landfill). We are VERY excited about this because it is the first time we will be offering it at the festival. We feel that we can make a HUGE impact by diverting a lot of waste from the landfill, so this is definitely a “feel-good” kind of activity – and we will give preference to Master Naturalist grads who sign up! This would be an easy and quick way for some of them to knock out their hours if they want!

The nights we will need volunteers are as follows:
11/28 (Friday) & 11/29 (Saturday)
12/5 (Friday) & 12/6 (Saturday)
12/12 (Friday) & 12/13 (Saturday)
12/19 (Friday), 12/20 (Saturday), 12/21 (Sunday), 12/22 (Monday), 12/23 (Tuesday) & 12/24 (Wednesday)
12/26 (Friday), 12/27 (Saturday) & 12/28 (Sunday)
***Fridays & Saturdays are from 5:00-11:30pm***
***Sunday through Thursdays are from 5:00-10:30pm***

Those interested in signing up may email Erin Guerrero (eguerrero@ccprc.com) or they may sign up through our volunteer website at:
They need to tell her that they are Master Naturalists.
We need volunteers for our resource recovery efforts at Latin American Festival (same activity as above)…
Date: Sunday, October 5, 2014
Time: First shift (11:00am-3:00pm), second shift (3:00pm-6:30pm)
Place: Wannamaker County Park
Volunteer description from website: “Recycling Ambassadors will be stationed at or in close proximity to recycling and compost bins throughout the festival, serving as a guide to assist attendees with proper disposal of materials and helping them get their materials into the appropriate bins.”

Sarah Giles, S.C. Master Naturalist
Stewardship Aide
Charleston County Park & Recreation Commission
5200 Savannah Highway, Ravenel, SC 29470
Primary: (843) 889-8898
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Volunteers for Jane Edward School on Edisto

Jane Edwards

I am the teacher and a master naturalist here at Jane Edwards on Edisto Island. Boy do we have a great project in the works!!! And we need some master naturalist volunteers.

There is an ephemeral wetland next to our school which the Edisto Island Open Land Trust owns. They are going to create an outdoor classroom on it, complete with boardwalks and such, all with volunteers. We need it planned and built but we also need people who are willing and able to work with individual teachers to plan and teach standards-based lessons throughout the whole process. We want the students to be participants from the start and we would like this to be a partnership of the land trust, communities in schools and master naturalists for the 2014-15 school year. The project’s name will be the Edisto Community Outdoor Classroom (ECOC).

If you can help by volunteering, please contact Amanda Fox at
afox@cischarleston.org or 843.869.4809

Kathy Mayer
Master Reading Teacher, PGA
Jane Edwards Elementary School
Edisto Island, SC

Wood Magic Volunteers Needed!!

PO Box 21707, Columbia, SC 29221 Phone (803) 896-8890 fax (803) 896-8896

The 2014 Wood Magic Forest Fairs are almost here! The Piedmont event is just 2 weeks away!

I am still in need a many volunteers. Can you volunteer this year? Volunteer for another day? Do you have co-workers you can encourage to volunteer with you? One does not need to be a forester or other natural resource professional to volunteer, especially for the guide spots.

While I do need volunteers for all locations, I will specifically address the Piedmont event here as it is just a couple weeks away. The positions still needed at the Piedmont are as follows:

Tuesday, September 16th 4 guides, 2 Sawmill instructors, Paper Making instructor,
Paper Making helper

Wednesday, September 17th 2 guides, 2 Sawmill instructors, Paper Making instructor,
Paper Making helper

Thursday, September 18th 9 guides, 2 Sawmill instructors, Paper Making helper

Friday, September 19th 5 guides, 2 Sawmill instructors, Paper Making helper

Contact me (skolok@scfc.gov, 803-896-8855) to volunteer for any of the events.

Thank you!

Stephanie Kolok
WMFF Coordinator