New staffer in Jackson conservation group

The Wilderness Society recently appointed Jill Gottesman as outreach coordinator in an effort to increase conservation efforts in North Carolina. She will work out of the conservation group’s Sylva office.

Gottesman, former outreach director at Georgia ForestWatch, will be responsible for expanding community awareness and participation in the region for legislative protection of national forests in North Carolina.

“Jill’s wilderness background and community practices experience will benefit Western North Carolina for years to come,” said Brent Martin, Southern Appalachian program director at The Wilderness Society, who is also based in Sylva. “She brings a wealth of experience and expertise working with communities.”

Gottesman has an extensive background working with people and wilderness. She got her start studying outdoor recreation and resource management at the University of Georgia. Throughout her time there, she augmented her experience by working on a trail crew in the Pacific Northwest. She also studied desert ecology and wilderness education with a backcountry class in Utah and led a volunteer spring break trip to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, where she and her crew assisted with wetland restoration projects.

Gottesman hopes to build local partnerships and broader political support for wilderness designations in North Carolina.

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