NWSA Webinars

NWSA's free webinars will keep you apprised of funding opportunities, policy changes and ways to strengthen and build your stewardship group.  Check out some of the past NWSA workshops below. 

Be sure to sign up for our email list to learn about future presentations!

New 2019 Wilderness Stewardship Webinar Series

The National Wilderness Stewardship Alliance (NWSA) is presenting a new series of webinars that will be of interest to wilderness stewardship organizations.  Entitled “Wilderness Stewardship Challenges”, each webinar will focus on a problem or challenge faced by wilderness stewardship groups and will offer expert advice from the wilderness stewardship community on how to address them.

Dates:  typically set for the second Tuesday of each month

Times:  usually at 12 noon Pacific Time / 1 pm Mountain Time / 2 pm Central Time / 3 pm Eastern. 

To stay informed of what’s coming up next, sign up for email updates HERE.

Tuesday, March 10 at 1:00 PM Mountain
Leave No Trace  — Refresher, Updates, Resources
Erin Collier, Brice Esplin, and Faith Overall
What’s new with Leave No Trace, and how can you incorporate the principles into your daily work?  Erin Collier & Brice Esplin, Subaru/Leave No Trace Traveling Trainers, will provide a general Leave No Trace refresher with an emphasis on updates, research, and resources, geared toward wilderness stewardship groups and agency partners. Faith Overall, Leave No Trace's Education and Outreach coordinator and volunteer for the Indian Peaks Wilderness Alliance will also join to provide a volunteer perspective and answer questions on getting more involved. 

2020 Upcoming Webinar Schedule
Tuesday, April 14, 1:00 PM Mountain time:
Balancing Advocacy and Stewardship to Protect Wild Lands:  The Great Old Broads for Wilderness Model
We love our wild lands! Whether it is for recreation, exploration, or to find a glorious escape from the hustle and bustle of our daily lives, there is a place for everyone to enjoy the wild outdoors. Unfortunately, public lands are threatened and under constant attack from resource extraction to climate change to the impacts of public recreation. There is an excellent way to get involved and protect the places we love while having the opportunity to engage with them. Join Great Old Broads for Wilderness Associate Director, Lauren Berutich, to explore how the alignment of a solid advocacy and stewardship plan can effectively and deeply shift community activism to a new level of success. Let’s go on a "Broadwork"!
A bio of Lauren can be found here: https://www.greatoldbroads.org/our-staff/

May 12 - Citizen Science — Innovative Approaches to Engagement, Data Collection, and Management Support
In the face of agency reductions, and the parallel growth of a wide-ranging base of engaged and knowledgeable volunteers in our wild areas, “Citizen Science” has become a key approach to gathering solid data and sustaining the science which supports wilderness management. 
Mark Eller, Director of Foundations and New Business for Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics will present the Center's approach to designing a citizen science program that focuses on community monitoring of recreation-based impacts. 
Lisa Gerloff, Program Director for Citizen Science at the UofM Wilderness Institute...
Michelle Toshack, Senior Manager for Volunteer Experience at Adventure Scientists will discuss how outdoor adventurers can help scientists make conservation impacts, by volunteering to collect high-quality data in hard-to-reach places.
For other examples of citizen science, check out other NWSA webinars this year: Wild Spotter, citizen involvement with invasive weeds (January); How to Relax on a Pair of Rollerskates: strategies for agency liaisons to assure successful communication and cooperation with volunteers (February); and the powerful strategies Great Old Broads brings to volunteer engagement (June).
June 16 - Women as Wilderness Leaders:  A Panel of Stewards — 
Shelley Silbert, Executive Director
Great Old Broads for Wilderness
July 14 - Mindfulness— How do you feel about your wilderness experiences in our fast paced world.
Aug 11 - Back Country Horsemen of America - 3S's for Safe Horsemanship Around other Users 
Sept 8 - Public Lands and Climate Change 101 —  panel to discuss effects of climate change on wilderness
Oct 13 - Ethics in Digital Media — Lisa Ronald and Mikensi Romersa, Wilderness Institute, University of Montana
Nov 10 - KIN — Kids in Nature - How this program works to encourage nature participation by today's youth.
Dec 8 - Strategies for Trail and Land Designations — Andrew Downs, ATC.
Jan 12, 2021 - Shared Stewardship - start out with theme for new year and series that explores various aspects.

Past Webinars

February 10, 2020

How to Relax on a Pair of Rollerskates:
What Volunteers Do, What Can Volunteers Do, How can agency liaisons support volunteer work?
Kevin Cannon
What can volunteers do safely, competently, and what range of tasks do volunteers engage in nationwide?  Kevin Cannon, 18-year liaison to Poudre Wilderness Volunteers, will define “volunteer” and “volunteer organization,” and explore the range of services provided by volunteers — both those which are widely familiar and some which you may not have considered.  He will also explain “How to Relax on a Pair of Rollerskates” — strategies with which agency liaisons to volunteer organizations can assure successful communication and cooperation with volunteers.

January 14, 2020

Wildspotter - a Mobile Application for Invasive Species Inventory

Rachel Carroll, Unviersity of Georgia

Wild SpotterTM is a national project to promote the engagement and empowerment of the public in our fight against invasive species. Since launching in 2018, Wild Spotter has expanded into 19 National Forests and 8 Tribal Lands across the United States. The project continues to grow and develop through its collaboration with great partners. To date, Wild Spotter has established 54 partnerships with federal and non-federal agencies as well as non-profit organizations and stakeholders which ultimately grows the local capacity for documenting invasive species. This webinar will provide an overview of Wild Spotter, highlight its progress as an innovative citizen science project, and offer details for future Wild Spotter project updates.

View recorded webinar presentation online

December 10 at 1:00 Mountain Time
Successful Volunteer Recruiting
Panelists include:
Katie Currier, Southern Appalachian Wilderness Stewards
Alivia Acosta- Appalachian Trail Conservancy
Ken Norden- US Forest Service
Kellie Flowers- Volunteers for Outdoor Colorado
Volunteers play a vital role in the stewardship of our public lands but recruitment of these volunteers can be time consuming and challenging. Learn about the challenges, strategies and success stories of volunteer recruitment from other stewardship professionals across the country.
View recorded webinar presentation online

November 5, 1:00 pm MT
NWSA Partnership Series Webinars
Justice, Equity, Diversity, Inclusion (JEDI): Part 2 Strategies for Your Organization
The second installment of our webinar on JEDI issues about development of successful strategies for your organization.  You will leave the webinar with a map that can help you identify priorities for your organization and areas where you need more support. 
View recorded webinar presentation online (enter your name and email to view): CLICK HERE

"What keeps wilderness stewardship volunteers coming back?
Dr Rebecca Niemiec, Assistant Professor and Martha Bierut, PhD Student
Human Dimensions of Natural Resources Department
Colorado State University
 Results from a nation-wide survey and in-depth case study on volunteer retention"
Becky's research promises to help volunteer organizations develop focused strategies to sustain enthusiastic membership.
A key challenge that many wilderness stewardship organizations face is how to increase retention rates of volunteers. While many research studies have examined what motivates people to first start volunteering, much less is known about what keeps volunteers coming back over time. Preliminary research suggests that retention rates are influenced more by whether people feel socially connected and appreciated while volunteering, rather than their initial motivations to start volunteering. However, little is known about what types of strategies wilderness stewardship organizations can use to appeal to these personal and social motivations. In this study, we partnered with the National Wilderness Stewardship Alliance (NWSA) and the Poudre Wilderness Volunteers (PWV) to examine best practices for enhancing retention rates among wilderness stewardship organizations. We conducted a nation-wide survey of volunteers and staff with wilderness stewardship organizations as well as over 30 interviews with with volunteers of PWV to understand factors influencing retention. We report on the results of those studies and provide suggestions for strategies that wilderness stewardship organizations can use to enhance retention. 

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Communities & Wildfire
Judah Melton
MSc Student - Dept. of Forest Resources Management 
Faculty of Forestry - University of British Columbia
With every year we have several major fires affect communities in the wildland-urban interface at levels that make national and even international headlines. What are the bigger reasons behind these tragic events and what can communities do to prepare and protect themselves? University of British Columbia Master's student and contractor for the BC Community Forest Association, Judah Melton, will speak on these questions and share examples of communities addressing wildfire-related issues in and out of the forest."  This webinar will discuss ways in which community involvement can help reduce the risk of wildfire in wildland urban interface areas, especially those adjoining wilderness areas.

Justice, Equity, Diversity, Inclusion (JEDI): Part 1 (The What and Why of JEDI)
This webinar will help you articulate what you mean when you are talking about JEDI and why it is important to your organization. This webinar is hosted by the Partnership for the National Trail System, the National Wilderness Stewardship Alliance, and American Trails.  This free webinar will start your organization on the trail to a more meaningful conversation about this important topic.
Presented by:
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  • View recorded webinar presentation online (enter your name and email to view): CLICK HERE
  • Download and save to your computer (106mb): CLICK HERE

Wilderness Character Monitoring - an Update

A visit with Julie King, Program Manager for Wilderness Character Monitoring, on how the Forest Service is progressing with implementation of Wilderness Character Monitoring.

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National Public Lands Day - Tips on How to Have a Successful Event

Tony Richardson, from the National Environmental Education Foundation describes National Public Lands Day programs, and how your organization can be involved.

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Latino Conservation Week and Your Organization  

Jennifer Brandt of the Hispanic Access Foundation will show how your organization can join with Latinos across the nation during the week of July 13-21, 2019 to support the protection of our natural resources. Latino Conservation Week can raise the visibility of your organization among Latino communities and provide opportunities for them to show their support for permanently protecting our land, water, and air. 

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Crowd Sourced Bird Conservation - “Merlin Bird ID”  Cornell University, Department of Ornithology will demonstrate the Merlin app to survey and report birds in your wilderness area.

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"Long Distance Trails in Wilderness” — Work with National Scenic and Historic Trail System Partners to expand volunteer opportunities with long distance trail partners.
This panel presentation brings together leaders in the long distance trail community to discuss issues common between wilderness areas and the long distance trail community around volunteer engagement and stewardship.
Participating in the panel are:
Andrew Downs, Appalachian Trail Conservancy
Teresa Martinez, Continental Divide Trail Coalition
Jennifer Tripp, Pacific Trail Association
Chelsea Bodamer, Partnership for the National Trails System

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WildSpotter - Crowd sourced Invasive Species Inventory

Mike Ielmini, National Invasive Species Manager for the USDA Forest Service, discusses use of the WildSpotter mobile phone app, a crowd source solution to invasive species survey. 

View Webinar.

”NWSA Funding Opportunities in 2019" 
Randy Welsh, NWSA Executive Director hosted this informative session to describe funding programs available in 2019 from the National Wilderness Stewardship Alliance.

“Managing Your Organizations Finances — Best Practices for End of The Year Accounting and Reporting.”
Presented by Darcy Shepard, Finance and Human Resources Director, Friends of Nevada Wilderness.
who was elected NWSA treasurer in 2012, has a passion for numbers and the outdoors.  She holds a BA in Journalism and Political Science and a Certificate of Excellence in Nonprofit Management (2014), both from the University of Nevada, Reno.  This webinar will help your organization start 2019 off on the right foot fiscally – Darcy will be reviewing best financial practices, including advice on building your budget for 2019, tracking your unrestricted funds, and what it takes to prepare for and undergo an audit. Set your organization up for success whether you’ve got a budget of $10,000 or $1,000,000 by joining the NWSA’s Managing Finances: Best Practices webinar.

Climate Change and Invasive Species
Led by Jack Morgan, Poudre Wilderness Volunteers
recorded November 1st, 2017.  1 hour 30 minutes.

How to Apply for NWSA/USFS grants for the Wilderness Stewardship Performance Program - Goals, Roles, How To Apply
Led by: Randy Welsh, NWSA Vice Chair, and others from NWSA
Listen to the webinar
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Understanding Wilderness Stewardship Performance Program
Its Structure, Goals, Roles for Volunteer-based Stewardship Organizations
Led by: Steve Boutcher, FS National Information Manager for Wilderness & Wild and Scenic Rivers
Listen to the webinar (requires you to sign in to Web-ex)



Improving Wilderness Stewardship through Marketing
with USFS’ Ralph Swain
Listen to the webinar (requires you to sign in to Web-ex)