2021 NWW


2021 National Wilderness Workshop

“Advocating for Stewardship – Tips, Tools and Practical Techniques for the Wilderness Steward”

To Be Hosted Virtually

the Week of 

November 15 - 19th




Hosted by:

National Wilderness Stewardship Alliance and the Society of Wilderness Stewardship

Local Sponsors: 

Appalachian Trail Conservancy

USDA Forest Service, George Washington – Jefferson National Forest

USDI Bureau of Land Management

Virginia Wilderness Committee



The National Wilderness Stewardship Alliance and the Society of Wilderness Stewardship are pleased to welcome you to the National Wilderness Workshop.  Over the course of the week of November 15th - 19th we hope you immerse yourself in wilderness learning, networking with the wilderness stewardship community, and exploring the wilderness stewardship issues of the mid-Appalachian area which are good examples for the rest of the country.

This registration information will help you navigate the Workshop and ensure you are prepared to have a wonderful experience.  We look forward to hosting you.


Unfortunately, due to the escalation of infections from the Covid Pandemic, the NWSA Board has made the decision to convert our planned in person-workshop to a Virtual Only Workshop.  We will still have a full slate of presentations and opportunities to interact and network with other wilderness stewards, it will just be virtual.

The Workshop Planning Committee will be making adjustments to the program to fill a broader time span during the week of November 15th.  Additional topics and speakers may also be added.  Our hope is to include opportunities to interact with Congressional staff and Agency leadership as well during the week.  Stay tuned for updates as they occur during the next several months.

Thank you for your patience and understanding as we transition the National Wilderness Workshop to a Virtual format this year.



Workshop Information

The 2021 National Wilderness Workshop

“Advocating for Stewardship – Tips, Tools and Practical Techniques for the Wilderness Steward”


Virtual Only

Week of November 15 - 19th


The National Wilderness Stewardship Alliance and the Society of Wilderness Stewardship, in partnership with the U. S. Forest Service, the Bureau of Land Management, the Virginia Wilderness Committee and the Appalachian Trail Conservancy welcome you to the Virtual National Wilderness Workshop.  An outstanding program fills five days with plenary and concurrent sessions along with optional networking sessions and special events.  This year’s Workshop also encourages wilderness stewards to expand their skill set to advocate for wilderness stewardship.  Through a series of pre-Workshop webinars, and then Workshop sessions, participants will be trained to effectively interact with elected officials, agency leaders, and Congressional staff.  The culmination of the Workshop includes virtual time with Washington DC people who can make a difference for wilderness stewardship.

The National Wilderness Workshop is the premier gathering of wilderness stewardship organizations, federal agencies, and wilderness academics to learn and discuss current wilderness issues, network among like-minded professionals, and seek solutions to pressing wilderness problems.  Through a series of plenary and concurrent sessions a vast array of information is shared, and important topics are discussed.  Come and share your voice.

The Program

The workshop Steering Committee is currently modifying the previous Workshop program to convert it to a virtual format.  We fully expect to have several general plenary sessions and a host of concurrent sessions all around the theme of advocating for wilderness stewardship.  General sessions will provide understanding about Virginia’s unique Wilderness areas, the challenges of stewardship in these areas, and how they provide transformative experiences for wilderness users.  Updates on national wilderness issues will also be presented.  Concurrent sessions will provide more detailed presentations around wilderness science, wilderness management issues, wilderness stewardship and volunteer steward advocacy and engagement.  Several sessions are planned to continue to grow and expand the wilderness community around issues of diversity, inclusion, and justice.  Speakers come from many different communities and offer varying viewpoints that you won’t want to miss.

The current working Program is shown below.  We will be working with presenters to convert these sessions to a virtual format.  Updates to the Program will be be made as needed in August and September.

The Program Agenda – includes session titles and speakers

Program Abstracts – includes information about each presentation

Speaker Biographies - information on each presenter



Registration for the National Wilderness Workshop will be via a Survey Monkey Registration Form.  Registration will be limited to Virtual Only choices.  Participants will be able to register for the Workshop, state preferences for workshop concurrent sessions to help us plan capacity needs, and make payments.  Employees of the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) can register for free using the link provided below due to a training agreement with NWSA.

Register Here: 

All Participants Except for BLM Employees:  Choose this link to Register for the Workshop


BLM Employees:  BLM Headquarters has provided training registrations for up to 100 BLM employees.  Registration is on a first come-first served basis.  Please use the link below to register BLM employees.

BLM Employees:  Please use this link to register for the National Wilderness Workshop



Every effort is made to keep the cost of the Workshop low.  Registration fees go towards providing quality virtual experience and speaker costs.  Members of NWSA or SWS enjoy a discount in the registration fees.  Check this document to see if your organization is a 2021 member.

List of 2021 Organization and Individual Members – as of June 15, 2021

Early Registration Discount:  Registrations prior to September 30th are discounted.  Regular Registration period runs from October 1 – November 1st.  Late Registration period runs from November 1 – November 15th.

Non-Member Organizations of NWSA or SWS may find it advantageous to become Members to receive Workshop discounts.  All members of an organization qualify as members if the Organization is a member.


Registration Type

Early Registration

June 14 – October 15th

Regular Registration

October 15 – October 31st

Late Registration

November 1st – November 15th

MEMBERS of NWSA and SWS, including USDA and USDI employees

All Virtual Sessions





All Virtual Sessions




STUDENTS - Currently Enrolled

All Virtual Sessions





Presenter Discounts

Presenters at the Virtual Workshop receive a complimentary participation in the Workshop.  Presenters will use the Member pricing link during Registration.  Select Presenter payment options (no cost).  We encourage all presenters to register early.

Agency Registrations

Federal and State agencies may register at the NWSA/SWS Member rate.  Bulk or group registrations can be arranged by contacting [email protected] 

BLM Employees

BLM employees should use the BLM Registration link to preregister under the BLM training allowance provided by the Washington DC BLM Headquarters office.  (No cost for the first 100 BLM participants) - Coming SOON!


Pre-Workshop Training

To help prepare participants for the Washington DC trip, a series of pre-Workshop webinar trainings will be offered once a month from July – November.  These sessions will be available to everyone with an interest in stewardship advocacy.  The schedule of these trainings is:

10:00 PT July 19th – Introductory Session to Stewardship Advocacy (90 minutes)

Introduction to Stewardship Advocacy – Tim Mahoney, retired PEW

What is Planned and How to participate – Randy Welsh NWSA

               Schedule of Training and Materials

Examples of Stewardship Advocacy – Andrew Downs, Appalachian Trail Conservancy

Bill Hodge, Bob Marhsall Wilderness Foundation

Overview of Rules and Reg’s of Advocacy – Anders Reynolds, Southern Environmental Law Center

               IRS Reg’s

               Lobbying Definitions

10:00 PT August 16th – Stewardship Advocacy 101 – Agency Relations (2 hours)

What’s the Big Picture? – Why we Advocate - Can we Advocate (30-45 minutes)

               Local Agency Interactions – Bill Hodge, Bob Marshall Wilderness Foundation

               Headquarters Agency Interactions  – Sue Spear, retired FS

How to Advocate with Congress

               Field Offices – Andrew Downs, Randy Welsh

               DC Office – Anders Reynolds/Brendan Mysliwiec, ATC

               Legislation – Anders Reynolds

               Appropriations – Brendan Mysliwiec

               Members – Anders Reynolds, Andrew Downs

               Media Involvement – Mark Larabee, Pacific Crest Trail Association

Seeking Buy-in from Participants - All

Rules and Reg’s of Advocacy – John Pomeranz (30-45 minutes)

               IRS Reg’s

               Lobbying Definitions


Schedule of Events in Washington DC – Randy Welsh

Training Contents – Randy Welsh

10:00 am PT September 20th – Stewardship Advocacy 201 – DC Relations

Basics of Advocacy

               Differences between Agency and Congress Advocacy

               Who is involved in Congress – Contacts

               How a Member Office is organized

               Who to contact, what to expect

               How to get a Member to a meeting

               Who is involved in Agency Contacts

Materials used in Stewardship Advocacy

               Talking Points

               Position Papers

               The Ask

What is an ASK – Developing an ASK Workshop


               Policy Issues

               Program Issues

10:00 am PT October 18th – The ASK

Overview of the ASK

               Making the ASK

               National vs Local

               Final Agreement on ASKS

Platform and Assignments

10:00 am PT November 1st– PreTrip Preparation

Expectation for Meetings on the Hill and With Agencies

Final Schedule and Logistics for the Trip

Final Review of ASKS

Final Review of Materials to Share

At National Wilderness Workshop

Protocols and Procedures for Meetings

Review of all Materials

Role-Play of different Scenarios

Zoom Links and training materials will be mailed to registered participants and made available on the NWSA website prior to each session.


Thank you for your patience and understanding as we transition the National Wilderness Workshop to a Virtual format this year.

If you are among the few who made early registration we will contact your shortly on whether you want a full or partial refund of fees paid.  

Questions?  Please contact Randy Welsh, Executive Director, National Wilderness Stewardship Alliance, at [email protected]

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  • Kimberly Waites
    Excited! I am looking for a roommate for Roanoke. Email me [email protected]
  • Randy Welsh