Each year wilderness and conservation groups offer free webinars on contemporary topics in wilderness and wildlands stewardship. This year, many webinars are focused on public health and its relationship to public lands. If your groups is offering a webinar relevant for this listing, please email Lisa Ronald. Below the list of upcoming webinars. Select webinar recordings are available for past webinars.

Upcoming Webinars

Outdoor Recreation Therapy for Veterans: A Manualized Approach

September 22, 2020, 9-11:30am mountain time, SHIFT’s Outdoor Rec and Nature-Based Programming for Vets study is designed to document the current landscape of outdoor recreation programming and nature-based therapeutic interventions for military veterans; develop a baseline assessment of current practices within the field; and use it to establish best practices for such programming. Part 1 will look at the study’s preliminary findings with its principles. Part 2 is a 1.5 hour collaborative, interactive workshop that will explore the development of a manualized hiking intervention.

Register for part 1, the panel discussion

Register for part 2, the workshop (password is HEALTHNATURE) (limited to 100 people)

Transboundary Conservation: Migration and Fragmentation Across Conservation Landscapes

September 24, 2020, 12-1pm mountain time, It is now common knowledge that species conservation spans political boundaries. But what does this look like on the ground? How might we leverage this insight to produce stable conservation outcomes? This panel examines popular strategies--such as conservation easements--and under-recognized challenges--such as parallel militarization--to conservation across North America. Nontraditional entities thus contribute to decisions about wildlife management. Our discussants provide a range of disciplinary perspectives with special attention to the socio-political contexts in which conservation emerges. Using examples drawn from the the US-Mexico and US-Canada borders as well as the High Divide region of Idaho and Montana, panelists account for the management challenges associated with fragmentation across ecological habitats and ranges.

Managing High-Use Trails: Why Trail Stewards are a Necessity in Creating Safe, Sustainable Trails

October 1, 2020 11am-noon mountain time, Learn how trail steward and trailbuilding programs have worked to make the public better informed, more responsible trails users while protecting the resource. 

Poop in the woods: Why managing human waste in wilderness matters

October 7, 2020 1-2:30pm mountain time, Human waste can be one of the most significant impacts on public lands, particularly in pristine areas such as wilderness. Given the increase in recreational use of our shared lands, understanding the issues and impacts associated with human waste is imperative for ensuring that it is dealt with appropriately and effectively. From catholes to groovers, Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics Education Director Ben Lawhon will cover the specific impacts of improper disposal of human waste, will explore the science of human waste, and will review strategies and techniques for minimizing the impact of this waste in wild places.

Reconnecting Children with Nature: Our Responsibility and Our Opportunity

October 8, 2020 11am-12:30pm mountain time, Learn about successful strategies from recreation and parks professionals that address the disconnect from nature through facility and land use planning, program development, and community education and partnerships.

Using Volunteers to Maintain Trails in Parks

October 15, 2020 11am-12:30pm mountain time, Learn the ins and out of developing a program by establishing trust and delegating to a volunteer leader so an employee can manage the project.

Ethics and Effects of Wilderness Digital Media

October 20, 2020 1-2pm mountain time, 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.

Make it Count: Collecting and Applying Trail Count Data

October 22, 2020 11am-12:30pm mountain time, Learn from industry experts, advocates, and practitioners about how to collect and apply trail count data, and how to leverage that data in order to achieve meaningful, tangible changes in your community.

Strategies for Trail Designations — A Panel Discussion

December 8, 2020 1-2pm mountain time, with Andrew Downs, other details TBD