Staff

Heather MacSlarrow, Executive Director
Heather grew up in Northwest Washington and Hong Kong, both of which gave her an appreciation for wilderness and solitude.  She received her Bachelor's Degree in Environmental Studies from the University of Montana, and from there embarked on a 10-year adventure in public land and Wilderness stewardship with conservation corps across the West from Arizona to Alaska.  She worked with the Washington Conservation Corps, Rocky Mountain Youth Corps in Steamboat Springs, Montana Conservation Corps, Youth Corps of Southern Arizona, Southwest Conservation Corps in Tucson, and Southwest Conservation Corps in Salida.  Her last position in corps was as the founder and Executive Director of the Southwest Conservation Corps in Salida, Colorado.  Heather left corps work to pursue her Masters of Natural Resources through the University of Idaho and work with the Colorado Mountain Club as the Lands Director.  Through these positions, Heather worked with many Wilderness Areas, including: Buffalo Peaks, Collegiate Peaks, Sangre de Cristo, Great Sand Dunes, Spanish Peaks, South San Juan, Weminuche, La Garita, Admiralty Island, Glacier Bay, Wrangell Saint Elias, Misty Fjords, Kenai, Organ Pipe, Chiricahua, Gila, Saguaro, Rincon Mountain, North and South Maricopa Mountains, Superstition, Carlsbad Caverns, Guadalupe Mountains, Selway Bitterroot, Rattlesnake, Mission Mountains, Bob Marshall, Mount Zirkel, and High Uintas.  
 
Heather is highly dedicated to the professional stewardship and management of Wilderness.  She sees this as the key to allowing Wilderness to do what Wilderness does best - facilitate life-changing experiences and maintain important ecological systems, both of which provide essential support for, and strengthen, our communities.  

Val Sokolowski, Program Coordinator

Val was born in Western Pennsylvania and spent much of her childhood in the Allegheny National Forest where she fell in love with the outdoors. After graduating from the University of Pittsburgh, where she received a graduate degree in Education, Val pursued opportunities to engage youth in public land stewardship; leading and managing Youth Conservation Corps Programs with the Student Conservation Association, Southwest Conservation Corps and the Gulf Coast Conservation Corps.  Additionally, she has managed Field Programs on Colorado’s iconic Fourteeners, where she designed and implemented high alpine trail construction projects and restoration efforts. Most recently, Val has pursued her interest in the National Trails System and the many benefits of these unique spaces through work with the Pacific Crest Trail Association in the Northern California/Southern Oregon region and as the Trail Operations Manager for the 3100 mile Continental Divide National Scenic Trail.  Val has developed curriculum and trainings for wilderness and trail skills and is dedicated to teaching and sharing her passion for wilderness stewardship and management.  After serving on the SWS Board of Directors & Executive Committee for the last year, Val has stepped into the Program Coordinator position and is excited to help SWS continue to grow and thrive. 

 

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The Society for Wilderness Stewardship is a non-profit, charitable organization under the 501 (c)(3) section of the Internal Revenue Code.