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 2021 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.
OUR NEXT WEBINARS:
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.
Tuesday, February 9th 1:00 pm MT
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.
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
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 10 at 1:00 PM Mountain.
BUILDING WILDERNESS PARTNERSHIPS THROUGH EMPATHY
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.
Tuesday, October 20
Tuesday, September 15
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 yet available)
Public Lands and Climate Change — A Panel Discussion
Randy Welsh, Executive Director, NWSA
Tuesday, August 11 at 1:00 PM Mountain
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.
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.
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"!
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?
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
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.
Communities & Wildfire
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.
May need to enter name and email to view.
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.
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.
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.
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.
"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
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.
”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
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
Improving Wilderness Stewardship through Marketing
with USFS’ Ralph Swain