NWSA's free webinars will keep you current with innovative activities and programs in the wilderness community, and keep you apprised of funding opportunities, ways to strengthen and build your stewardship group, and policy changes that affect us all.
All of the past NWSA workshops are available online. Check them out below this year’s offerings.


New 2023 Wilderness Stewardship Webinar Series

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.


2023 NWSA Webinar Series 

May 9th, 1:00 PM MT
Meet the New Executive Director of NWSA - Joelle Marier
Retiring Executive Director Randy Welsh will introduce the new Executive Director of NWSA, Joelle Marier to our NWSA audiences.  This conversational interview will introduce you to Joelle and the vision she has for expanding the wilderness stewardship community.  Come join us as we learn of Joelle's past wilderness experiences and the route she has taken to this new position.  

Past Webinars

April 11th, 1:00 PM MT
Wilderness Stewardship Resources from the Arthur Carhart National Wilderness Training Center, and Wilderness Connect
Dan Abbe, Forest Service, from the Arthur Carhart National Wilderness Training Center will be our guest to talk about the online distance learning courses and other toolbox resources that are available from ACNWTC and on Wilderness Connect.   These courses and training are available for anyone in the wilderness stewardship community and can help round out anyone's knowledge of the Wilderness Act and wilderness management techniques and practices.  Volunteers and non-profit staff may find these resources valuable.  Come find out more about what's available and what is planned for the future.

March 7th, 2023 1:00 pm Mountain Time


Randy Welsh, Executive Director, of NWSA explained recent changes in the Wilderness Stewardship Performance and Trail Partner Funds that will make it easier for more groups to consider applying for this funding.  Learn about the changes and how to best compete for these great programs.  Wilderness and trails stewardship groups should all consider watching this webinar.

Tuesday, February 14th, 2023  1:00 PM Mountain Time
A Conversation with Katie Armstrong, Director, Wilderness and Wild & Scenic Rivers, USDA Forest Service
Katie has been on the job now for a year and a half and has been gracious to discuss her thoughts on issues, priorities, and progress towards wilderness stewardship within the Forest Service.  Katie will share her insight on the direction the wilderness program is heading and status updates on wilderness character monitoring, wilderness stewardship performance and other hot topic issues the agency is facing in 2023.  You won't want to miss this chance to hear from someone in the know on all things wilderness and Wild & Scenic Rivers.

January 17th, 2023 1:00 pm Mountain Time

The National Museum of Forest Service History
Dave Stack, Vice President, as well as Historian and Archivist, and Lisa Tate, Executive Director, at the National Museum of Forest Service History in Missoula Montana will talk about the current expansion plans for the museum especially the role Wilderness Conservation will play in the new design scheme. 
Dave received a BS degree in Forestry from Southern Illinois University in 1964 and Master of Forestry degree from Duke University in 1965.
Dave had an extensive career in the Forest Service in Minnesota (Chequamegon and Duluth NF's) and West Virginia (Monongahela NF) as well as in Montana on the Bitterroot National Forest.

Lisa Tate’s career in Museum and Nonprofit management has spanned nearly forty years, thirty of which were in senior leadership positions. She has worked as a staff consultant for Nonprofit Solutions in the role of Capital Campaign Manager (International, National, Regional & Local levels), Major Gifts Officer, Long Range Planner and Interim Executive/ Transition Leadership.

Museum roles have included General Curator, Collections Manager, Accreditation Inspector, Assistant Director and Executive Director, including 18 years with the City of Boise where she worked with Zoo Boise and also served on Mayoral task forces for public arts and economic development.  Lisa holds a Master degree in Nonprofit Management and is a Certified Fund Raising Manager from Indiana University Lily School of Philanthropy.  She has served on several nonprofit boards including 8 years as President of a national nonprofit association.  She has also served as a Trustee for several nonprofit foundations. 

In 2016 Lisa was pleased to join the National Museum of Forest Service History as the organization’s Executive Director and is looking forward to the construction of the Museum’s flagship facility- the National Conservation Legacy Center.

Dave and Lisa's  presentation will be of interest to anyone interested in Forest Service history, the scale and scope of the National Museum, and how wilderness stewardship partners might engage with museum expansion plans.

December 13, 2022 1:00 pm Mountain Time
Over the past year the NWSA Board has been working with a consultant to review and revise our organization operating documents and strategic vision and plan to encourage future growth and expansion opportunities for member engagement, program enhancement, and recruitment.  In this webinar Randy Welsh, Executive Director of NWSA, and Board Members Katie Currier and Randy Rasmussen will share how this experience sets the stage for NWSA to further meet your wilderness stewardship needs.  Come learn about ongoing plans and future changes that will make NWSA better able to meet your organizations needs.  Learn how you might be able to participate in these changes to

Special December Webinar Courtesy of American Trails

Wilderness Trails: Special Places, Special Considerations

This webinar will provide some basic information on trails in federally-designated Wilderness, examples of practical experiences, and resources to learn more.

Presented by:

November 8, 2022  1:00 pm Mountain Time
November 8, 2022  1:00 pm Mountain Time

Volunteers are integral to the success and function of the USDA Forest Service. Since passage of the Volunteers in the National Forests Act of 1972, which authorized the agency to accept voluntary services, 2.7+ million volunteers have contributed more than 120 million hours of service (valued at over $1.4 billion) to help care for the land and serve people.

This session will detail when and how to fill out the Volunteer Services Agreement for Natural Resources Agencies (OF-301a) and Group Volunteer Sign-Up (OF-301b) forms as well as touch on topics such as reimbursements, background checks, and volunteer recognition. Poudre Wilderness Volunteers will also provide examples of how they are utilizing technology to sign up and manage volunteers

This webinar will explore the procedures and processes for volunteering with the USDA Forest Service.  From the forms needed to working with local units.  This session will help anyone or any organization volunteer their time for a project on the National Forests.  Our speakers for this webinar include Chelsea Muise and Kevin Cannon.
Chelsea is the Wilderness, Wild and Scenic Rivers, and Congressionally Designated Areas Program Manager for the Rocky Mountain Region of the USDA Forest Service.  She was born and raised in a Forest Service family and has spent the past 15+ years working in recreation, lands, and minerals at amazing locations throughout the country including Midewin National Tallgrass Prairie in Illinois; Tonto National Forests in Arizona; Mount St. Helens National Volcanic Monument in Washington State; and the Kaibab National Forest, in Arizona. She holds a Parks and Recreation Management degree from Northern Arizona University.

Kevin Cannon was the Wilderness, Trails, and Wild & Scenic Rivers program manager on the Canyon Lakes Ranger District, Arapaho-Roosevelt NF from September of 2001 thru December of 2019.  Kevin was also the Forest Service liaison to the nationally renowned Poudre Wilderness Volunteers (PWV) based in Fort Collins, Colorado.  PWV can boast of contributing over 24,000 hours of volunteer service to the Canyon Lakes Ranger District in 2019 with 320 volunteers.  Kevin now contracts back to help the FS during the extreme personnel shortage in the Recreation department.  Basically, lending his learned skills, knowledge and generally aiding in moving the recreation programs along.  Kevin earned a bachelor’s degree from Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff, Arizona in Forest Management in May 1980.  Kevin has been with the Forest Service working in Wilderness and trails for more than 35 years.  In 2005 Kevin was awarded the Bob Marshall Wilderness Champion Award for helping all levels of the Forest Service manage Wilderness through his work on the Forest Service’s Wilderness Information Management Steering Group national team.  And in 2019 Kevin was recognized as the Wild & Scenic River Outstanding River Manager

October 11, 2022  1:00 pm MT

A Journey with the Media - How to work with today's media.

Doing good work for wilderness? Struggling with how to tell your organization's story? This webinar will explain how one group learned how to tell their story through the media.. And it resulted in an EMMY! Members of the Poudre Wilderness Volunteers will share their journey of engaging with various media channels in an effort to expand communication about their wilderness stewardship efforts. These media channels include television, radio, print and social media. Working the channels is a nuanced initiative and the learning over time led to being awarded a regional Emmy.

The discussion will revolve around the various interactions and programs with the media, critical key lessons learned and how to keep programs moving forward. Jeff Randa and Sean Orner will lead the discussion. Jeff is the PWV point person with television, print and radio and has over 40 years experience in marketing. Sean leads the social media activities and has contemporary experience in leveraging the correct approach for all such platforms.

September 22, 2022 - 1:00 pm MT
The Legacy Trails Fund
American Trails, in partnership with the US Forest Service, is offering a new trail improvement funding opportunity.  This program is funded through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and supports partner

trail projects that further the Legacy Roads and Trails criteria on National Forest System trails.  Cathy Corlett, the Legacy Trails Program Director from American Trails will present about this amazing new opportunity.

This program will award funds to stewardship organizations and local government entities for completing motorized and nonmotorized trail projects on National
Forest System lands. This funding is not for routine annual trail maintenance. Projects must improve water quality, restore aquatic organism passages, preserve access, decommission
National Forest System roads, unauthorized trails or previously closed trails, and/or provide for more resilient and sustainable National Forest System trails, trail bridges and trail infrastructure.
There is wide latitude on how projects are developed and designed. Projects can include NEPA planning, trail clearing, brushing, tread repair, trail relocation, bridge and structure repair or
replacement, and installation of trail signs provided they contribute to the goals of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. These activities may reduce existing trail deferred maintenance 1 . All trail
work must meet National Quality Standards 2 , design parameters 3 , and be consistent with the Forest Service Trail Management Objectives 4.

Come and learn how your organization may benefit from this new source of funding.

March 31, 10:00 am PT
NWSA Funding Programs and America Trails Trail Fund
This special Coffee Hour presentation will provide groups with information about several funding programs.  NWSA Executive Director Randy Welsh will brief participants on the two funding programs offered by NWSA in 2022. Randy will talk about the Wilderness Stewardship Performance Partner Funding and the National Forest System Stewardship Trail Partner Funding programs. These two programs are currently soliciting project proposals through April 15th. Randy will compare and contrast the programs, provide eligibility and rating criteria, as well as provide helpful tips on successful applications. In addition Mike Passo and Candace Gallagher from America Trails will talk about their new Trail Fund. They will explain the requirements and process for submitting proposals also by April 15
Watch Video

April 12th 1:00 pm MT 

Sustainable Camping Practices
Jeff Marion, Virginia Tech University
Jeff and his current graduate students will share the latest information on sustainable camping practices with a focus on a long term Pacific Crest Trail study.  Information about the Appalachian Trail will also be discussed.
Watch Video

Tuesday, March 8th 2022  1:00 pm Mountain Time

Beyond Secretaries, Hostesses, and Cooks:  The Power, Humility, and Compassion of Women who Battled to Save Wilderness

Michelle L. Reilly, Ph.D from the Fish and Wildlife Service will share her insights behind the women involved in the early days of the conservation movement.  Come hear the stories about women who were in the trenches of the wilderness movement from its inception.

In 1964, the 88th Congress passed an act to establish the National Wilderness Preservation System for the permanent good of the whole people, and for other purposes. Before the Wilderness Act was passed, 66 drafts of the bill were written, and Congress debated for eight years.

During this time, from the 1940 to the 1960s, women were still seen as homemakers and husbands’ helpers. In 1961, President John F. Kennedy established the Com¬mission on the Status of Women and appointed Eleanor Roosevelt as chairwoman. In a televised 1962 discussion with Roosevelt, Kennedy stated, “We want to be sure that women are used as effectively as they can to provide a better life for our people, in addition to meeting their primary responsibility, which is in the home.”

Society viewed women as homemakers and housewives. It is no surprise then, that stories of women’s role in our wilderness history are seldom told. It is disheartening that the important female figures of our wilderness history are not credited. These stories have a critical place and need to be heard. This presentation tells the stories of several women who contributed to our wilderness legacy

Watch Video

February 8th, 12:00 Noon PT to 1:30 pm PT - Special Time This event only

Wilderness management in a time of rapid change: A discussion of “triage” actions in the short-term

Some wilderness areas, particularly those close to large population centers, are changing rapidly, with exponential day use increases, and critical impacts to both visitor experiences and ecological resources. Wilderness stewards are challenged to address the implications and impacts of this increased use, and current collaborative planning strategies may not be responsive enough for urgent, emerging issues. When short-term, immediate action is needed, how do we “triage” management decisions? How to we identify the circumstances of when such triage is needed? How do we ensure that short-term actions lay a foundation for long-term collaborative planning? What practices and strategies can managers apply in these situations?

This webinar considers “triage” management, and it consists of three 5-8 minute ‘flash’ talks by the presenters, which are followed by breakout “sharing sessions” where participants can identify issues, discuss strategies and past actions, and share best practices.

Our presenters include: 

Bob Dvorak is a Professor in the Department of Recreation, Parks, and Leisure Services Administration at Central Michigan University. He is also the Editor-in-Chief of the International Journal of Wilderness (www.ijw.org). Chris Armatas is a research social scientist at the Aldo Leopold Wilderness Research Institute, an interagency science unit administered by the Rocky Mountain Research Station, USDA Forest Service.

Watch Video

Download Powerpoint

Download Transcript

Rescheduled for Wednesday, February 2nd at 1:00 pm MT
The National Wilderness Skills Institute, a Recap/Feedback Session
The Wilderness Skills Institute in May 2021 brought together agency and partner groups to do pre-season training using a virtual format.  How did this training work?  How successful were the objectives?  A panel of people responsible for the Institute will discuss their findings and results from the week and what the future of the NWSI might be.  Folks interested in the training possibilities of virtual session will find this webinar interesting.  
Key Speakers include:

John Campbell (Wilderness and Wild & Scenic Rivers Program Manager – Southern Region)

Jimmy Gaudry (Wilderness and Wild & Scenic Rivers Program Manager – Northern Region)

Bill Hodge (Executive Director – Bob Marshall Wilderness Foundation)
Nancy Taylor (Wilderness and Wild & Scenic Rivers Program Manager – Pacific Northwest Region)

Dusty Vaughn (Wilderness and Wild & Scenic Rivers Specialist – Washington Office)

Broadcast January 20th 2022
Coffee Hour with David Gessner
David Gessner is the author of twelve books that blend a love of nature, humor, memoir, and environmentalism, including his latest, Quiet Desperation, Savage Delight: Sheltering with Thoreau in the Age of Crisis and Leave It As It Is: A Journey Through Theodore Roosevelt’s American Wilderness. Gessner is a professor at the University of North Carolina Wilmington, where he is also the founder and Editor-in-Chief of the literary magazine, Ecotone. His own magazine publications include pieces in the New York Times Magazine, OutsideSierra, AudubonOrion, and many other magazines, and his prizes include a Pushcart Prize and the John Burroughs Award for Best Nature Essay for his essay “Learning to Surf.” He has also won the Association for Study of Literature and the Environment’s award for best book of creative writing, and the Reed Award for Best Book on the Southern Environment. In 2017 he hosted the National Geographic Explorer show, "The Call of the Wild."  He is married to the novelist Nina de Gramont. 

Confluence: A Blending of Traditions at Bears Ears and What we can Learn From It

NWSA is proud to have best selling author David Gessner join us for a far reaching conversation about the history and future of conservation.  David is known for his recent works:  All the Wild that Remains and Quiet Desperation - Savage Delight.  By starting with recent decisions about Bears Ears, David will weave a narrative about the hopes for new inclusion of native American ideas into conservation while still holding on to the best of conservation ideals from Teddy Roosevelt and other early conservation leaders.  Sure to include lot's of opportunity for audience participation and discussion, you won't want to miss this opportunity to hear from one of today's best conservation writers. 

We had David talk about his introduction to conservation and the themes that move his writing.  Listen in HERE.

Broadcast January 11, 2022
Stock use rules in BLM and USFS-managed wilderness.
One of the most common categories of rules in wilderness is rules associated with stock use. Stock rules can include feed requirements, party size limits, camping setbacks from water and/or trails, grazing restrictions, as well as stock restrictions to certain trails or outright prohibition of stock. This research describes the frequency of stock rules in wilderness areas managed by the BLM and USFS. Additionally, the differences associated with the rules that are included in Wilderness Character reports as well as how they are weighted are also explored.

C. “Griff” Griff is a Professor in the Biology Department at Grand Valley State University. Her research focuses on unconfined recreation in the National Wilderness Preservation System.
Randy Rasmussen, Public Lands Policy Expert for the Back Country Horsemen of America will also participate in this discussion with a horseman's perspective.

The Wilderness Stewardship Advocacy Series

NWSA hosted a 4 month webinar series that will assist wilderness stewardship groups in their wilderness stewardship advocacy efforts locally and nationally.  Starting with an Introduction to Wilderness Stewardship Advocacy, experts from the world of stewardship advocacy will share their experience, tips, and practical techniques for you to apply.  The series is now complete and can be viewed below.
Introduction to Wilderness Stewardship Advocacy
Wilderness Stewardship Advocacy 101
Wilderness Stewardship Advocacy 201
The ASK - Developing Your Requests Workshop
For complete information about the Wilderness Stewardship Advocacy Webinar Series  CLICK HERE
For information about the National Wilderness Workshop CLICK HERE

NWSA June Coffee Hour

June 18th - 1:00 pm Mountain Time

Bringing you people and topics of interest to the wilderness stewardship community.

Poudre Wilderness Volunteer Crowd Funding Initiative

This session will offer insights into the Poudre Wilderness Volunteers recent CrowdFunding effort to raise funding for trail restoration. A panel of participants will describe the process and results from the initiative.

Jeff Randa - Jeff has 40 years of business-to-business marketing experience working in the engineered polymers and carbon fiber raw materials industry. He has worked closely with high performance outdoor gear manufacturers, helping them to introduce new products for outdoor enthusiasts. Jeff is recently retired and lives in Fort Collins CO. He is a patrolling member in PWV and also contributes to the Fund Development Committee. Jeff is passionate about public land stewardship and is an avid outdoor activities enthusiast, including hiking, biking, snow sports, paddle sports and wildlife and landscape photography.

Grace Wright (MBA, PMP) is a Fort Collins native. She teaches social enterprise and corporate sustainability in the Impact MBA at CSU and is the Head of Operations and Marketing at Carousel (a social emotional learning edtech startup). She also owns Wright Ventures, which helps early-stage entrepreneurs launch and scale. Grace became familiar with crowdfunding when raising money for her first venture and has helped many entrepreneurs implement crowdfunding best practices over the years.

Sean Orner is a 3-year member with the Poudre Wilderness Volunteers. She serves on various committees including Public Outreach, assisting with the organization's social media management. Sean works as a bookkeeper for small businesses and lives in Red Feather Lakes, CO.

Coffee Hour Video

PWV Coffee Hour Information

PWV CrowdFunding Video

Tuesday, June 8th, 2021

Short Term Fundraising Events for Wilderness Stewards

This webinar will focus on three ways to raise money with short term events. Peggie dePasquale from the Wyoming Wilderness Association will describe their Film Festivals, and Kelsey Maxwell from the Friends of Scotchman Peak will describe their recent on-line auction process.  Randy Welsh, Executive Director shared his thoughts on fundraising events.

Peggie grew up in the mountains of rural western Maine and has now lived in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem for the better part of a decade. Peggie obtained her M.S in Natural Science Education and Environmental and Natural Resources from the University of Wyoming in 2018. Immediately following her degree she joined the Wyoming Wilderness Association team and has been enthralled with her work to protect Wyoming public wildlands even since. 

Kelsey Maxwell is the Communications and Outreach Coordinator for Friends of Scotchman Peaks Wilderness. In this role, Kelsey works to build a community of Idahoans and Montanans around a love for our wild backyard through outdoor education, stewardship projects, hikes, and fundraising events. She will discuss her efforts to raise money via online fundraising campaigns.

Tuesday, May 11th 1:00 pm MT
2021 NWSA Funding Programs Project Selection
NWSA Executive Director shares examples and statistics from the recent 2021 NWSA Funding program selections for Wilderness Stewardship Performance Funding and the National Forest System Trail Stewardship Partner Funding.  This webinar will help participants understand what makes a good project proposal for these funds and how to create a fundable proposal in the future.

Tuesday, April 13th, 1:00 pm MT
Covid 19 Pandemic Summer Field Strategies.The pandemic is still with us, but with new CDC guidelines, social distancing, vaccinations, and a strong desire to get out and return to the outdoors, volunteers can safely return to stewardship activities.  Come learn how Friends of Nevada Wilderness, the Oregon Natural Desert Association, and the Pacific Crest Trail Association are navigating the pandemic and offering stewardship opportunities in 2021.  Our panelists include: Chris Cutshaw, Friends of Nevada Wilderness, Renee Patrick, Oregon Natural Desert Association, and Ben Barry, Pacific Crest Trail Associatio
Panel Powerpoints

Tuesday, March 9th at 1:00 pm MT
The Forest Service 10 yr Trail Shared Stewardship Challenge
Brenda Yankoviak, Forest Service National Trail Program Manager, will talk about the Forest Service’s 10-Year Trail Shared Stewardship Challenge. The Trail Challenge was announced last February by Forest Service Chief Vicky Christiansen. The Agency is excited to begin implementing the Trail Challenge with partners and volunteers across the country. Over the next 10 years, agency staff will be working closely with partners and volunteers to focus their collective efforts on key actions that will improve trails into the future. Come learn about what this challenge is, how it will work, and how partners and volunteers can get involved.

February 2021
NWSA Funding Programs - What do WSP Funding and Trail Stewardship Have in Common
Randy Welsh, Executive Director of NWSA will describe the two main funding programs NWSA will offer in 2021, the Wilderness Stewardship Performance PArtner Funding, and the National Forest System Trail Stewardship Partner Funding.  Randy will detail the requirements of both programs, deadlines, and will offer tips on how to write and submit a successful proposal.  If your organization is looking for funding, then this is one webinar you won't want to miss.

January 2021

Wilderness Stewardship On-Line Resources
A panel of wilderness resource specialists and trainers will review the online resources that are available to wilderness stewardship groups and agency employees.  Learn about the tools you can use in your stewardship work and online training that will expand your knowledge.
Lisa Ronald - Wilderness Connect
Tim Devine - Arthur Carhart National Wilderness Training Center
Randy Welsh - NWSA

December 2020
National Trails: A look at Trail Designations within the National Trail System.
The National Trail System Act established three categories of National Trails: National Scenic Trails, National Historic Trails and National Recreation Trails. A panel will discuss the attributes of each designation including the purpose of the designation, the designation process, protections afforded thru designation and opportunities for volunteer stewards and advocates.  Andrew Downs, Appalachian Trail Conservancy, Moderator

November 2020


Chris Armatas, Aldo Leopold Wilderness Research Institute

Foundations of the wilderness movement were built from common ground and purpose to see the Wilderness Act across the finish line.  Working as a community with shared goals and understanding will help us successfully steward wild lands into the future and requires us to build strong and empathetic connections together.  To help us understand what that means, this webinar presents the results of data collected during a session on shared stewardship and empathy at the 2019 National Wilderness Workshop, where we learned from our rich history of partnership and collaboration and worked together to help chart those partnerships into the future.  Dr. Chris Armatas of the Aldo Leopold Wilderness Research Institute analyzed and categorized participant responses to the 2019 survey and empathy exercise. The results from this applied research will be shared with you during the webinar, which provide an update to knowledge surrounding the issues of Wilderness shared stewardship today and yield insights into how to foster empathy among those within the Wilderness community who are focused on developing and maintaining partnerships for shared stewardship of the NWPS.  This information is sure to inform our wilderness stewardship work and nurture a greater understanding to guide the whole wilderness community into the future together.

View Webinar

Tuesday, October 20
Ethics and Effects of Wilderness Digital Media
Wilderness has quickly become part of digital media—through the voices of both wilderness organizations and individual wilderness users. The narratives crafted by organizations and individuals about wilderness issues and experiences have great power to influence public opinion as well as wilderness stewardship. However, technologies, like cells phones, that are increasingly used to craft these wilderness narratives also affect the wilderness experience itself. During this webinar, four communications and technology professionals discuss different aspects of digital media and wilderness. Lisa Ronald (Wilderness Connect, University of Montana) and Mikensi Romersa (freelance videographer) discuss social media and videography examples that illustrate ethical challenges and best practices for crafting positive wilderness digital storytelling. Kate Sutcliffe (Regional Collaboration Coordinator, Mount Grace Land Trust) illustrates how examining individual wilderness user social media narratives can inform wilderness management. Jeff Rose (Parks, Recreation, and Tourism Program, University of Utah) discusses how technology changes the wilderness experience when one enters into the experience with the intent of sharing it digitally.
View Webinar (due to a computer glitch this recording is not available)

Tuesday, September 15
Public Lands and Climate Change — A Panel Discussion
Randy Welsh, Executive Director, NWSA
Ecological change is happening before our eyes, brought on by climate change. Regardless of the cause, the changes in the natural world are evident and swiftly reshaping environments. This is felt keenly on public lands. Our panelists will discuss ways that stewardship groups can involve themselves in the monitoring and preparation for climate change adjustments in your local areas. This session will help set a framework for climate change understanding leading into the National Wilderness Workshop in October.
Rachel Green, Climate Education & Stewardship Program Manager with Great Old Broads for Wilderness, will discuss Broads’ new grant-funded program that empowers volunteers to educate their communities about the intersecting issues of climate change and public lands management through hands-on learning, online engagements, and inspiring stewardship opportunities that center nature-based climate solutions.
Lisa Gerloff, University of Montana, Wilderness Institute will discuss their Citizen Science program and how volunteers can be used to monitor climate change indicators.

Tuesday, August 11 at 1:00 PM Mountain
The 3 - S Program

Stop, Stand Back and Speak:
(A Smile Helps Too)
Maximize Your Positive Interactions with People on Horseback

Most trail users are familiar with the Share the Trail “yield triangle,” which asks that hikers and bikers yield to persons
on horseback. The reasons behind such trail etiquette are rooted in animal psychology and behavior. Yet many
stewardship volunteers, including hikers, trail runners, backpackers and mountain bicyclists are unfamiliar with the
reasons why horses and mules might react adversely when thrust into a surprise encounter.
This webinar will provide participants with useful information on ways to minimize trail conflict and how to work
comfortably alongside packstock during stewardship projects.

The presenters will walk webinar participants through topics such as:
• The benefits of incorporating users of packstock, which includes horses and mules, into trial work
parties and stewardship projects.
• Horse psychology, including:
   Horse sense: How a horse interprets its world through sight, sound and
   Fears and concerns of a prey animal (from the eyes of the horse).
   Fight or flight: Why even a well-trained horse might occasionally “bolt.”
   How to “read” a horse’s state of mind (pro tip: Vulcan mind-meld not

• Trail and weather characteristics that serve to minimize surprise encounters with pack and saddle
• Fears and concerns of the horseback rider.
• Best practices to minimize your anxiety or fear, or that of others in your party, when encountering
stock on the trail or during joint stewardship projects.
• Horse poop (aka, manure): Is it something to fear?

The webinar will be interactive, in order to recognize the accumulated experience of webinar participants, with ample
time for audience Q&A or story-telling. We implore participants to help us craft an informative webinar, the recording
of which can serve as an educational tool for trail users and professionals for years to come.

Presented by Cate Bendock, President, Sourdough Chapter, Back Country Horsemen of America, https://www.bcho.org/sourdough-chapter/
and Kate Beardsley, Executive Director/Founder, Mustangs to the Rescue, https://mustangstotherescue.org/
with an assist from Randy Rasmussen, Director of Public Lands and Recreation, BCHA. https://www.bcha.org/blog/staff/randy_rasmussen
Share the Trail yield triangle.jpg

Tuesday, July 14 at 1:00 PM Mountain
The Great American Outdoors Act - What it means for Stewardship

The Great American Outdoors Act is moving through Congress.  What does this Act mean for Wilderness Stewardship?  For Trail Stewardship?  Come join a panel discussion with Tyler Ray from American Hiking Society, Ben Lara and Brenda Yankoviak US Forest Service discuss what this Act means for Stewardship.  There is potentially millions of dollars available for groups to use for stewardship.

Watch the video 

Tuesday, June 16
Women-Led Stewardship and Conservation — a Panel Discussion
Shelley Silbert, Executive Director
Great Old Broads for Wilderness
From Marjory Stoneman Douglas to Mardie Murie to Winona LaDuke and more, women have long led the fight for land protection, conservation, and stewardship. Yet women’s contributions have often gone unrecognized, and too few have held leadership positions in national, regional, or local organizations.  Join Shelley Silbert, Executive Director of Great Old Broads for Wilderness, for a panel to explore why women are so critical to public lands protection, and how women’s leadership is critical to protection of our last wild places. Panelists include Camilla Simon, Executive Director of HECHO (Hispanics Enjoying Camping Hunting and the Outdoors); Marcia Brownlee, Program Manager with Artemis (an organization of sportswomen who are out to change the face of conservation), and Christine Hill, Associate Director of the Lands, Water and Wildlife Campaign of the Sierra Club.

Tuesday, May 12, at 1:00 PM Mountain 
Citizen Science — Innovative Approaches to Engagement, Data Collection, and Management Support
Mark Eller, Lisa Gerloff, Michelle Toshack
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).

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/

Tuesday, March 10
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. 

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.

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. 

Watch Video

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.

View Webinar

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.

View Webinar

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. 

View Webinar

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

View Webinar

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)