NWSA hosts annual workshops in partnership with other wilderness stewardship organizations and land management agencies. The conferences/workshops provide a great way for stewardship groups around the country to connect with each other and with key wilderness specialists in the federal land management agencies. The workshops are designed to have informative speakers and interactive sessions and to bring together the Wilderness Stewardship Community.

2024 National Wilderness Workshop

2024 is the 60th Anniversary of the Wilderness Act.  NWSA will be planning a National Wilderness Workshop for 2024.  Where should it be and what should be it's theme?  Let us know.  Send an email to [email protected] with your thoughts.

The 2022 National Wilderness Workshop has been delayed till April 17-24th, 2023, Missoula Montana.  Being planned by the Society for Wilderness Stewardship.  See details on their website for registration and logisitics information.  www.wildernessstewardship.org

2021 National Wilderness Workshop - To be Hosted Virtually week of November 15-19th

Unfortunately the reality of the Covid Pandemic is forcing the National Wilderness Workshop to be held virtually again in 2021.  Click below for full details and information on how to participate.

Go to Workshop Information and Registration Materials

2020 National Wilderness Workshop occurred virtually in October 2020 because of the Covid pandemic.

The 2019 National Workshop was October 23-26, 2019, in Bend Oregon.   Over 250 people attended.

The theme for the Workshop was:  

The Path from Recreationist to Steward; Engaging Wilderness Users to Care for the Places They Cherish

Click HERE for 2019 Workshop Presentations


2018 National Wilderness Workshop - October 9 - 13th, Gunnison, Colorado is a wrap!

Attended by over 150 people, this Workshop made some distinct progress in reaching out to a more inclusive and diverse audience.

Western Colorado University, Gunnison Colorado, October 9-13th.

Click on this Link to go to the Society of Wilderness Website for follow-up information on the Workshop.

2017 National Wilderness Workshop.   Russellville, Arkansas, October 2-5

Last year the National Wilderness Workshop was hosted by NWSA, SWS, and AIM for Wilderness Stewardship, a new wilderness stewardship start-up located in the Ozark country of Arkansas, Missouri, and Illinois.  Co-hosted by Arkansas Tech University, the Buffalo National River, NPS, and the Ozark-St. Francis and Ouachita National Forests.  Sponsors last year included:  The Forest Service, and the Ozark Highlands Trail Association.  The Workshop brought together regional and national experts on wilderness to provide useful training and discussion on wilderness science, wilderness stewardship, and volunteer management for the wilderness stewardship community.

Click here for more information.

Click here for the Final Agenda


2016 National Wilderness Workshop - Missoula Montana 

coming soon....

2015 NWSA Workshop Missoula, Montana - October 28-31

NWSA, Society for Wilderness Stewardship, Wilderness Institute, University of Montana and the Montana Wilderness Alliance jointly hosted this workshop focusing on Wilderness 2020. This vision outlines a five-year commit­ment to pursue a wide range of goals and objectives to guide collaborative stewardship of America’s National Wilderness Preservation System. In addition to further connecting the broader wilderness community, this workshop is an opportunity for non-profit partners, old and new, to collaborate with the agencies to benefit the National Wilderness Preservation System.


2015 Workshop Program

2014 NWSA Conference & 50th Anniversary Celebration Albuquerque, New Mexico

Wilderness50, the long-anticipated celebration of the 50th Anniversary of the Wilderness Act, drew nearly 1200 participants to the National Wilderness Conference, hikes and cultural events in Albuquerque October 15-19. In the days preceding the conference, nearly 100 wilderness professionals and volunteer stewards gathered in Albuquerque to train and plan for the future of wilderness stewardship, hosted by National Wilderness Stewardship Alliance, the Society for Wilderness Stewards and the Arthur Carhart National Wilderness Training Center.

The Albuquerque conference was the first national gathering of wilderness advocates, stewards, educators, students, and researchers in 25 years. The multi-day event included more than 20 diverse plenary speakers including U.S. Department of the Interior Secretary Sally Jewell, author Terry Tempest Williams, astronaut Joseph Acaba, Native American educator Dr. Greg Cajete, and longtime wilderness activist Dave Foreman.


PDF for Wilderness 50 Proceedings

50th Anniversary of the Wilderness Act Successes Report

2013 NWSA Conference – Big Bear, California - October 24-26

Forty wilderness stewardship enthusiasts gathered in Big Bear California from as far away as Alaska, New Hampshire and North Carolina for the third annual conference of the National Wilderness Stewardship Alliance. Agency staff, volunteers and professional stewards were treated to workshops covering topics such as fundraising, communication, volunteer retention, and advocacy as well as guidelines and advice about the NEPA process, agency agreements, and 21st century trails opportunities.

Agenda 2013 Conference


2012 NWSA Conference – Montreat Conference Center - Asheville, North Carolina - November 1-4, 2012

This gathering kicks-off the evening of November 1st and concludes with a day of stewardship in the Linville Gorge Wilderness, Sunday November 4th.

The conference included an in-depth track of sessions exploring how we build that next great generation of Wilderness Stewards. Our friends at the Society for Wilderness Stewardship hosted several sessions that explored stewardship beyond the trail and a full track of meetings geared to building sustainable stewardship organizations. We explored organizational fundamentals like fund raising and board development while also offering presentations on wilderness visitor use trends. We had a key note address from Jamie Williams, President of The Wilderness Society and a panel discussion on using the 50th Celebration as a foundation for building the next great generation of Wilderness Champions.


2011 NWSA Conference – Red Rock Resort, Las Vegas, Nevada - March 10 – 13, 2011

Some of the Conference Highlights included the Intermountain Wilderness Steward Film and Fine Arts Festival, Lee Stetson Program (John Muir), great networking, poster session, and work at the Rainbow Mountain Wilderness.

Over 40 boots-on-the-ground wilderness organizations came together as a national community to support each other and share ideas and resources. 120 National Wilderness Stewardship Alliance conference attendees filled the Red Rock Resort in Las Vegas to address issues such as agency partnership and best practices for stewardship organizations. With representatives from Alaska to Arizona and the Pacific Crest Trail to the Appalachian Trail, stewards were able to connect and brainstorm with others from across the country.


2010 NWSA Conference – Fort Collins, Colorado - March 5-7, 2010

Excitement!  Passion!  Commitment!  Cooperation!  Creativity!

Sixteen wilderness stewardship organizations from around the nation and representatives from 6 national NGOs, plus assorted students and other experts, met in Fort Collins, CO, March 5-7, 2010 to discuss the value of a national network of wilderness stewardship groups and to outline its functions, initial structure, and mission. The 40 attendees agreed on the strong need to work together and formed the National Wilderness Stewardship Alliance.

We accomplished more than we could have imagined.  Our very experienced TREC facilitator, Jeff DeBonis said he had never seen a new group accomplish so much in so little time.