Emeritus Board Members

Emeritus Members:

Diane Bedell has played many different wilderness stewardship roles throughout her career; from outfitter/guide for an adventure travel company to wilderness ranger and outdoor recreation planner for the Forest Service and as the trails program director for Washington Trails Association, one of the largest volunteer trail maintenance organizations in the nation.  After exploring the Boundary Water’s Canoe Area Wilderness as a guide, Diane graduated with her master’s in Outdoor Recreation Management from the University of MN and worked with the Forest Service in MN and WA for the next 13 years. She served on the Chief’s Wilderness Advisory Group from 2004 to 2008 while she was the wilderness manager for the Goat Rocks, William O. Douglas, Glacier View and Tatoosh Wilderness Areas. She left the Forest Service to work with Washington Trails Association, an advocacy group for trails and helping to ensure primitive skills continue to be used in wilderness. Having seen wilderness stewardship from both public and private views, she is convinced that a strong professional wilderness stewardship organization is essential to the continued integrity of the NWPS. Diane lives in Seattle with her partner Julie and would be hard pressed to choose between dog sledding and canoeing in the Boundary Waters or hiking in the Cascades as her favorite activities.

Tom Carlson recently retired from the U.S. Forest Service after 36 years. Tom’s last position was at the Arthur Carhart National Wilderness Training Center where he focused on developing and implementing interagency training courses and workshops, identifying and responding to wilderness information needs, and supporting wilderness education efforts.  Tom was also involved with developing content for Wilderness.net such as the on-line ‘toolboxes’, and revising and implementing the Wilderness Distance Education Program training courses,  He was a member of the Forest Service Chief’s Wilderness Advisory Group and the Wilderness Information Management Steering Team.  Prior to his last position, Tom worked as a Wilderness and Recreation Manager on the Eagle Cap Ranger District/Hells Canyon National Recreation Area, Wallowa-Whitman National Forest and on several national forests in Oregon, Colorado, and Wyoming.

Diane Bedell has played many different wilderness stewardship roles throughout her career; from outfitter/guide for an adventure travel company to wilderness ranger and outdoor recreation planner for the Forest Service and as the trails program director for Washington Trails Association, one of the largest volunteer trail maintenance organizations in the nation.  After exploring the Boundary Water’s Canoe Area Wilderness as a guide, Diane graduated with her master’s in Outdoor Recreation Management from the University of MN and worked with the Forest Service in MN and WA for the next 13 years. She served on the Chief’s Wilderness Advisory Group from 2004 to 2008 while she was the wilderness manager for the Goat Rocks, William O. Douglas, Glacier View and Tatoosh Wilderness Areas. She left the Forest Service to work with Washington Trails Association, an advocacy group for trails and helping to ensure primitive skills continue to be used in wilderness. Having seen wilderness stewardship from both public and private views, she is convinced that a strong professional wilderness stewardship organization is essential to the continued integrity of the NWPS. Diane lives in Seattle with her partner Julie and would be hard pressed to choose between dog sledding and canoeing in the Boundary Waters or hiking in the Cascades as her favorite activities.

d.bedell64@gmail.com

- See more at: http://198.61.196.214/society-wilderness/site/node/16#sthash.iO4BzkOP.dpuf

Diane Bedell has played many different wilderness stewardship roles throughout her career; from outfitter/guide for an adventure travel company to wilderness ranger and outdoor recreation planner for the Forest Service and as the trails program director for Washington Trails Association, one of the largest volunteer trail maintenance organizations in the nation.  After exploring the Boundary Water’s Canoe Area Wilderness as a guide, Diane graduated with her master’s in Outdoor Recreation Management from the University of MN and worked with the Forest Service in MN and WA for the next 13 years. She served on the Chief’s Wilderness Advisory Group from 2004 to 2008 while she was the wilderness manager for the Goat Rocks, William O. Douglas, Glacier View and Tatoosh Wilderness Areas. She left the Forest Service to work with Washington Trails Association, an advocacy group for trails and helping to ensure primitive skills continue to be used in wilderness. Having seen wilderness stewardship from both public and private views, she is convinced that a strong professional wilderness stewardship organization is essential to the continued integrity of the NWPS. Diane lives in Seattle with her partner Julie and would be hard pressed to choose between dog sledding and canoeing in the Boundary Waters or hiking in the Cascades as her favorite activities.

d.bedell64@gmail.com

- See more at: http://198.61.196.214/society-wilderness/site/node/16#sthash.iO4BzkOP.dpuf

David Cole is Emeritus Research Scientist at the Aldo Leopold Wilderness Research Institute in Missoula, MT. He has degrees in geography from the University of California at Berkeley and the University of Oregon and has been conducting research in wilderness areas around the country for the past 35 years. He has coauthored three books, including Wildland Recreation, the first textbook on recreation ecology, and Soft Paths, the scientific foundation for the Leave No Trace program. He is also author of more than 200 articles and book chapters. Awards include “Scientist of the Year” from the National Park Service, the Natural Resource Achievement Award from the George Wright Society, the Theodore and Franklin Roosevelt Award for Excellence in Recreation and Park Research from the National Recreation and Park Association and the Annual Stewardship Award from the National Outdoor Leadership School.

 

 

Dr. Chad P. Dawson is a Professor Emeritus of Recreation Resources Management and former Chair of the faculty of Forest and Natural Resources Management at the State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forest in Syracuse, NY.  He worked in teaching and research related to the visitor management and wilderness management at SUNY-ESF for 22 years.  Previously, he worked 15 years as an educator and researcher at Cornell University and the University of Minnesota.  Dr. Dawson is the Editor-in-Chief and Managing Editor of the International Journal of Wilderness and co-author with John Hendee of Wilderness Management: Stewardship and Protection of Resources and Values (4th edition in 2009), Fulcrum Publishing, Golden, CO. 

 

 

 

Mark Douglas earned a BS in Recreation and Leisure Services from Murray State University in 2006. From 2006 to 2009 he worked as an outdoor education program coordinator in the San Bernardino Mountains near the San Gorgonio Wilderness. He has also worked for public lands stewardship as a Student Conservation Association trail crew leader in the Amistad and Dinosaur NPS units, and as a naturalist at the Whiskeytown Environmental School at Whiskeytown National Recreation Area. From 2009 to 2011 he attended Humboldt State University and earned an MS in Natural Resources Planning and Interpretation. His thesis examined overnight trip characteristics in the Yosemite Wilderness to inform the development of a wilderness stewardship tool. He now attends The University of Montana and is working towards a Forestry and Conservation Sciences PhD in the department of Society and Conservation. He has been helping investigate recreational travel patterns and social conditions for the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness on the Superior National Forest. Other recent wilderness conservation endeavors have had him as a Wilderness Fellow at Glacier National Park and as a field technician monitoring travel patterns for the Indian Peaks Wilderness on the Arapahoe-Roosevelt National Forest.

 

Dr. JP Flood received a Master’s Degree in Recreation, Parks and Leisure Studies, and a PhD in Outdoor Recreation from the University of Minnesota.  He is currently an Associate Professor in the Department of Recreation and Leisure Services at Minnesota State University, Mankato, MN.  His primary interests are in the field of recreation ecology, campsite and trail restoration, wilderness/ forest planning, developing wilderness monitoring/ planning protocols and strategies, wilderness management/ training specialist, (twenty years experience in LAC - stakeholder participation) wilderness education, environmental education, applying GIS technologies to wilderness resource management, and conflict management in natural resource settings.  As a living historical reenactor/musician, song writer and actor, he’s played John Muir, Gifford Pinchot, Teddy Roosevelt, Bob Marshall and most recently at the Wilderness 50 Celebration - Aldo Leopold.  He has been directly involved in managing recreation visitors and park resources in state parks, national parks and national forests starting in 1974.  He also worked with the Arthur Carhart National Wilderness Training Center for three years specializing in organizing and instructing campsite and trail restoration field training sessions for recreation managers from the NPS, USFS, USF&WS and BLM and The Confederated Salish-Kootenai Tribes.  He began his career as a state park ranger in Michigan, worked as a backcountry ranger in Glacier National Park, and nearly twenty years managing the Mission Mountains Wilderness in northwestern Montana.  He has been a college professor for 15 years.

Gregory Hansen has successfully worked for over 35 years in natural resource management and outdoor education and is retired from the USDA Forest Service's Washington D.C. Office. During his tenure with the agency he served as a Wilderness Ranger, Wilderness/ Trails Manager, Recreation Sub-Staff, Wilderness/ Trails Staff Officer, Regional Wilderness/ Trails Program Leader, National Leave No Trace Outdoor Education Program Coordinator and Wilderness Training/ Management Coordinator for the continent of Africa - USFS International Affairs Office. Forest Service programs under Greg's leadership were recognized with the National Aldo Leopold - Top Interagency Wilderness Management Program Award; National Izaek Walton League - Top Interagency Wilderness Education Program Award and the National Interagency Primitive Skills Award. Greg authored and instructed for five years two upper-level division wilderness management/ outdoor education courses at Arizona State University and has also taught natural resource management and Native American cultural studies courses at the University of Arizona, Central Arizona, Phoenix and Grand Canyon Community Colleges for the past 25 years. Currently, Greg consults, writes, and instructs for the Arthur Carhart National Wilderness Training Center, the USDA Forest Service, National Park Service, Bureau of Land Management, Fish and Wildlife Service and Southwest Conservation Corps, serves as the 50th Anniversary Celebration National Co-Chair and the Education/ Program Committee Chair for the Society of Wilderness Stewardship.

Don Hunger has a forty-year history in wilderness. His passion was sparked for the outdoors by an end-to-end hike of Vermont's Long Trail at 13. A few years later, at 17 he solo hiked the entire Appalachian Trail. His outdoor career began after high school with the Appalachian Mountain Club, in New Hampshire's White Mountains. He spent several years a a crew member and hut master working in public service, trails and restoration, search and rescue, and outdoor recreation. In his 20s, friends and a passion for the unknown drew him west to the Bridger-Teton National Forest, in Wyoming. He was hired as a Forest Service wilderness ranger and spent four summer's patrolling the Wind River Range, a breathtaking backbone of the Continental Divide. 

Don did his graduate work with the Aldo Leopold Wilderness Research Institute studying carrying capacity and levels of acceptable change on the Salmon River Middle Fork and Main Stem, in the Frank Church River of No Return Wilderness, Idaho. He was co-recipient of the Forest Service Chief's award for Excellence in Wilderness Management Research for his work in the Frank Church. Following the 40th anniversary of the Wilderness Act, Don co-founded the Society for Wilderness Stewardship (SWS) and served as the founding chair from 2005 through 2012. During those years, SWS defined its role as a professional society, stewardship organization and education partner. Don applied his commitment to youth, wilderness and the outdoors in a long career with the Student Conservation Association where he created internships for high school and college students in public lands stewardship.

 

 

Kyle Johnson is a native of Montana and a graduate of Montana State University in Bozeman with a degree in Resource Management.  Kyle is a career NPS employee beginning as a stone mason on the Going to the Sun Road in Glacier.  He worked various maintenance positions before accepting a seasonal backcountry ranger in Glacier’s Belly River.  Numerous seasonal positions took him all around Glacier and in the winter he worked seasonally at Big Bend National Park in Texas.  His first permanent position in Glacier was at Walton and shortly after that moved to become the West Lakes Backcountry Coordinator for Glacier.  In 2000 he became the Wilderness Manager.  In 2007 he became the Wilderness Specialist and is currently in that position. Glacier’s wilderness management program continues to receive recognition for outstanding management and was voted twice as the best backpacker park in the nation.   Kyle recently received a regional award for wilderness stewardship. Kyle lives in Columbia Falls, Mt with his wife Mary, son Parker (18) and daughter Ellie (14).

 

Ben Lawhon is a Natural Resources Management graduate of the University of Tennessee, joined the Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics staff in 2001, where he serves as the Education Director. His current responsibilities include curriculum development, management of national education and training programs, working on international initiatives and coordinating general outreach efforts. Previously he worked as the Associate Regional Representative for the Appalachian Trail Conservancy in Asheville, North Carolina from 1997–2001. While with ATC he was responsible for open-areas management, volunteer training, and oversight of regional ridgerunner/caretaker programs and Trail crews. He also researched and developed strategies for sanitation at overnight sites. He has also worked as an American Canoe Association whitewater-kayak and swiftwater rescue instructor. Ben currently serves as the Secretary on the Society for Wilderness Stewardship Board of Directors as well as on the Appalachian Trail Conservancy’s Stewardship Council. Ben is an avid outdoor enthusiast, enjoying whitewater paddling, telemark skiing, fly fishing and backpacking.

 

 

Maura Longden first ventured into wilderness while growing up in New England and working along the Appalachian Trail.  She started her National Park Service career as a wilderness ranger in Sequoia National Park.  In the three decades that followed, Maura remained committed to the protection and enjoyment of wilderness, working as a Ranger or Wilderness Manager in National Parks such as Yosemite, Glacier, Rocky Mountain, Joshua Tree, Grand Teton, Yukon – Charley Rivers and Yellowstone. Maura worked many years as a climbing and search and rescue ranger and specialized in the management of climbing activities in wilderness areas. Today, she continues to serve as a technical assistant to the NPS Wilderness Program Manager in Washington D.C. to develop policy and field guidance and to provide assistance to parks developing wilderness climbing plans and education programs. “My experience as a wilderness ranger and wilderness manager has provided me with insight into the challenges that the wilderness managing agencies face.  I am also deeply aware of the need for stewardship that includes agencies, partner organizations, wilderness visitors and those that value wilderness but may never have the chance to experience it first hand.  The mission of the Society for Wilderness Stewardship hits home with me and it is a honor to part of the leadership team and contribute to the important work of this organization.”

Steve McCool is Professor Emeritus, the University of Montana. For over 45 years, he has been active in instruction, research and application in management of visitors and tourism to wilderness, national parks and other protected areas both in the U.S. and abroad. Steve engages wilderness in a variety of ways:  working directly with all four wilderness management agencies, writing about wilderness stewardship challenges and opportunities, serving as a co-director of the International Seminar on Protected Area Management, speaking about the complexity of managing these special places, capturing images of wild landscapes, and connecting with those places on foot.  Currently, Steve emphasizes developing professional competency to “dive deeper” and “think differently” about managing the diversifying expectations society holds toward wild landscapes.

 

 

 

Linda Merigliano was introduced to wilderness in the Adirondacks. After one season as a volunteer ranger in the Tetons, she completed a Natural Resource degree at Cornell University and headed west. She spent the next 11 years working as a seasonal wilderness ranger and completing a master’s degree at the University of Idaho focused on indicators of wilderness quality. In 1988 she was one of six field people who testified before Congress as part of a GAO audit on Forest Service wilderness stewardship. She has been working on the Bridger-Teton National Forest since 1991 and currently serves as the recreation, wilderness and trails program manager for the Jackson District in addition to interagency assignments to help develop wilderness character monitoring and teach wilderness planning. She lives in Driggs Idaho with her husband Mike who is a riparian plant ecologist affiliated with the University of Montana.
 
 

Connie Myers.  As founding director of the interagency Arthur Carhart National Wilderness Training Center in 1993, Connie dedicated herself to advancing and realizing the vision of integrated and collaborative stewardship of the National Wilderness Preservation System. A critical part of realizing that vision is establishment of a professional membership organization for wilderness stewardship. She has worked toward that goal for over a decade with colleagues from within and outside the agencies and academia, formally articulating the idea through a co-authored article in the International Journal of Wilderness in 2003. 

 

 

Mike Smith recently completed a 35 year career with the U.S. Forest Service.  In 1975, he started his career as a trail crew foreman and timber inventory crew leader on the Bighorn and Shoshone National Forests in Wyoming.  Mike was reassigned to the San Isabel National Forest in Colorado where he had the good fortune to manage an array of resource programs during his 20 year tenure on the Forest.  For varying time periods, he was responsible for the range, wildlife, timber, fire, watershed, heritage resources, scenic byways, visitor information, environmental education, and wilderness programs.  A highlight of his career was being the wilderness manager for the Greenhorn Mountain, Spanish Peaks, and Sangre de Cristo Wildernesses.  Since 2007, Mike has been a Land Management Planning Staff for the Pike and San Isabel National Forests; Cimarron and Comanche National Grasslands. He also served as the Rocky Mountain regional representative to the National Wilderness Advisory Group (WAG) during 2006 and 2007. He was a founding board member for two non-profit National Scenic Byway organizations and currently serves on the board of directors for the Canon City Area Recreation and Park District. Mike feels that the formation of a professional wilderness stewardship society will surely be one of the major milestones in the wilderness movement.  He is particularly passionate about wilderness management because it integrates concepts from many disciplines to maintain or restore nearly pristine landscapes for the re-creation of human beings and the earth itself.  It is perhaps the most holistic of all the natural resource disciplines.

Derrick Taff is an Assistant Professor in the Recreation, Park and Tourism Management Department at Penn State University, where his research focuses upon communication as it pertains to visitor-use management, and social and ecological wellbeing in parks, and specifically, designated wilderness areas. Derrick served as a board member for the Society for Wilderness Stewardship from 2013 - 2016, and he remains an active member of the Society through research and volunteer work with their partners, including the Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics, and the Eppley Institute for Public Lands Wilderness Certificate Program.

 

 
 
 
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