AP NEWS

Bob Marshall foundation picks new director

March 31, 2019

A North Carolina man known for his wilderness preservation work in the Southern Appalachians has been hired as the new executive director of the Bob Marshall Wilderness Foundation.

Bill Hodge will begin his new position in the coming weeks. His passion for wilderness stewardship and cross-cut saws began as a field organizer for Tennessee Wild, a citizens campaign supporting new wilderness designation in the Cherokee National Forest, but his passion for the outdoors, public lands and wild places began in the 1970s when his family spent their summers hiking and camping in national parks and forests.

After a 25-year career in college athletics and broadcast media management, Hodge turned his passion into his profession when he saw support for protecting wild places waning because of a shortage of volunteers trained with traditional tools skills and a sharp decline in younger, diverse generations connecting with nature and their public lands.

Hodge started Southern Appalachian Wilderness Stewards in 2010 as a program of The Wilderness Society, where, under his leadership, it thrived and grew and continues to ensure the wildest places in the Southern Appalachians are secure for future generations.

Hodge serves as the vice chairman of the Society for Wilderness Stewardship and is a recipient of Bob Marshall Award as external champion of Wilderness from the United States Forest Service and the International Journal of Wilderness, and a Next Generation of Conservation Leaders Champion of Change Award from the White House.

A graduate of the University of Evansville, Hodge also retains certifications that include Class C USFS Sawyer, Wilderness First Aid, and Leave No Trace Master Educator. An accomplished nature and adventure sports photographer, his work often appears in publication and for use by conservation partners.