Workshop Agenda


*All times in Mountain Time Zone

Friday, October 9


Time Session Description Speakers
10:00 Science and Data in Yosemite Wilderness Learn how Yosemite National Park utilizes science to support management decisions in the wilderness. Lissie Kretsch, Tim Kuhn, Jesse Mcgahey &   Mark Fincher
11:00 Wilderness Center Education & Patrolling in the Field Rapid wilderness permit education and adaptations in a COVID-19 season.  Insights from patrolling in the field. PJ Solomon & Jesse Mcgahey
12:00 Lunch
1:00 Collaboration with State Agencies and Park Partners in the Management of Wilderness How wilderness benefits from these partnerships through the establishment of agreements. How core functions, special projects and grant proposals help in managing Yosemite's wilderness. Ed Dunlavey, Ryan Leahy, Lissie Kretsch & Jesse Mcgahey
2:00 Youth and Outreach Get to know the thousands of youth connected to the outdoors through Yosemite programming. Jesse Chakrin, Liam Caufield, Jasmine Ramirez, Jennifer Dolores, Anuj Nanavati & Mirella Gutierrez
3:00 End of Day

Tuesday, October 13


Time Session Description Speakers
9:00 Introduction Welcome to the 2020 National Wilderness Workshop.  Hear why this year's workshop is important, and what we are hoping you will gain from it. Heather MacSlarrow, Randy Welsh,Kevin Killian, Peter Mali, Katie Bliss, Jason Taylor, Peter Keller, Nancy Roeper & Roger Semler
10:00 Ecological Change Should we actively manage for resilience?  Ecological intervention in Wilderness through the lens of restoration.  A panel discussion exploring a spectrum of viewpoints: scientific applications, Whitebark Pine restoration in Montana, Giant Sequoia restoration in California, deciding not to pursue restoration in Wilderness in the Pacific Northwest, decision making in Yosemite National Park, and an academic framework. Bob Dvorak, Mark Fincher, Andy Bower, Sean Parks, Jimmy Gaudry & Carol Miller
12:00 Lunch
1:00 Keynote Closing the nature gap and building a future with a restored narrative that will spark awe in communities and create passionate contributors to land and wilderness management. Maite Arce
2:00 Resilience in Wilderness Town Hall What does ecological resilience mean, and what does Wilderness have to do with it?  Learn about the key role Wilderness plays in climate management. Heather MacSlarrow & Joel Clement
3:00 End of Day

Wednesday, October 14


Time Session Description Speakers
9:00 Ecological Change Coffee Hour Follow up on the Ecological Change disucssion from Tuesday with a facilitated conversation on all things wilderness, ecological, and changing. Bob Dvorak
10:00 Tribal Wilderness and Protected Areas Relationships between protected areas and Tribes viewed through a three-piece arc: academic history, traditional area access, and examples of collaboration. Steph Gillin, Clay River, Regina Lopez Whiteskunk & Dina Gilio-Whitaker
12:00 Lunch Tune in to hear about the fantastic recipients of the National Wilderness Stewardship Awards and the Forest Service Wilderness Awards. Angela Coleman, Randy Welsh
1:00 The Rise of Affinity Groups: Building a More Empathetic Wilderness Community Affinity outdoor spaces are spaces where groups of people with shared identifes can jointly experience the outdoors and feel safe and understood.  For many, recreating in wilderness is fraught with discrimination, judgement, and fear.  Systemic barriers prevent both an introduction to and free exploration or wilderness opportunities for marginalized communities.  But increased interest in being outdside, combined with a renewed movement toward building an equitable society, has given rise to affinity groups exploring wilderness together.  Through the lens of identity, participants will investigate inclusion, exclusion, priviledge, and equity related to race, gender, age, ability, and sexuality.  Story sharing and interactive situation exercises will help participants understand the role and value of single affinity spaces in making wilderness access more equitable to marginalized communities. Saveria Tilden, Jose Gonzalez, Brie Chartier, Jessica Rivas, Syren Nagakyrie & Wesley Trimble
3:00 End of Day
6:00 Movie Night Join us for the premiere screening of a short film about the USFS Pacific Southwest Region’s Pack Stock Center of Excellence follow by a Q&A with the Center’s Co-directors.  Learn about the time-honored tradition of pack stock and how they can be used as a tool to support the efforts of wilderness managers in preserving wilderness character. Michael Morse & Ken Graves

Thursday, October 15


Time Session Description Speakers
9:00 #metoo Coffee Hour Follow up on the Affinity Spaces discussion from Wednesday by delving into the #metoo movement. A safe space using anonymous polling and dialogue will be held to share experiences of harassment and assault for women and others who have experienced misogyny in wilderness. All are welcome to come and listen. An opportunity for participation in an action group will be offered. Kara Stella
10:00 Wilderness Economics: Exploring the Ways that Wilderness Lands Support Our Economy and Human-Well Being Wilderness designated lands are not often considered through an economic lens, as the Wilderness Act does not mention economic value as an important consideration. However, as an integral part of social and ecological systems in the United States, it is recognized that economic benefits are among the diverse range of benefits provided by Wilderness and related wildlands. This session explores the concept of economic value and Wilderness. The session begins with an introduction to the range of ways in which we can measure the value of wilderness, with a focus on which types of values resonate best with different audiences. Following this introduction, several topics are explored, including ‘amenity migration’ (how Wilderness and other protected areas attract migrants and wealth), the value of Wilderness designation for protecting water resources, outdoor recreation in the Latinx community, and the different ways particular generations value and use wilderness. Additionally, there will be a live demonstration of an applied ecosystem service valuation tool called ‘EcoValuator’, which will be followed with an interactive discussion related to how the tool might be used within the context of Wilderness stewardship. Megan Lawson, Evan Hjerpe, Jeff Englin, James Meldrum, Sonia Wang, Anna Perry & Jose Sanchez
12:00 Lunch
1:00 The Benefits of Natural Spaces: Exploring the Nexus of Healing, Well-Being, Social Justice and Access to Wilderness and Other Natural Settings Wilderness and other natural spaces can be places of profound healing and offer a deep sense of well-being for many people. Time spent in nature can change lives and help people process traumatic events, reduce stress, and recover from illness. Yet not everyone has equal access -- race, education, and income can influence access to natural spaces. Lack of access can have significant effects on long term physical and emotional health. Our panel members will share their work on the cognitive and physical health outcomes of exposure to, and immersion in natural environments, as well as the public health benefits of wilderness and other natural spaces. Additionally, panelists will explore intersections between environmentalism, environmental health access, and cultural diversity and they will offer insight on how this research may be applied in new and innovative ways. Dr. Monika Derrien, Dr. Greg Bratman,Dr. Salif Mahamane, Dr. John Haudoerffer & Dr. Courtney Schultz
3:00 End of Day

Friday, October 16


Time Session Description Speakers
9:00 Looking Ahead Coffee Hour Join us in looking forward to the next National Wilderness Workshop.  Tell us what to keep and what to toss, and what to bring for future years. NWW20 Planning Committee
10:00 Wilderness Stewardship In a Time of COVID-19 Discover how COVID-19 has changed recreation, and hear about how land management agencies and non-profit groups are adapting to those changes. Ben Barry, Ben Lawhon & Dave Cernicek
12:00 Lunch
1:00 Innovation in Community Based Stewardship Hear from four practitioners how wilderness stewardship is engaging more with the community.  Adventure Scientists: Water Quality on California Wild & Scenic Rivers, Elements of Creative Stewardship and DEI in Volunteerism; Payette National Forest: Interactive Mapping on the Frank Church River of No Return Wilderness; Colorado Mountain Club: Monitoring with the RIMS App; University of Montana Wilderness Institute: Wilderness Study Area Monitoring Steve Kimball, Lisa Gerloff, Julie Mach, Josh Simpson & Josh Theurer
2:00 Closing: Shared Stewardship in Wilderness-Recent Research and a Story of Building a Shared Stewardship Relationship Shared stewardship for the National Wilderness Preservation System (NWPS), or the creation of partnerships between the land management agencies and non-governmental entities, is integral to the completion of basic and fundamental stewardship tasks within Wilderness (e.g., trail work, Leave-No-Trace education, monitoring). This session includes a presentation of the results of a shared stewardship survey administered to the Wilderness community at the 2019 National Wilderness Workshop, as well as a presentation on research related to shared stewardship and National Scenic Trails. The session concludes with a discussion between a Forest Service district ranger and the executive director of a Wilderness non-profit; they share stories about what it takes to build a successful, and long-lasting, partnership for the benefit of Wilderness lands. Chris Armatas, Lee Cerveny, Bill Hodge & Scott Snelson
3:30 Happy Hour Happy Hour & Small Group Discussions - chat with your friends and share thoughts before leaving for another year. Heather MacSlarrow & Steve Kimball


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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.