Virtual Wilderness Information Series

Blue tent by a lake

Recordings

The series, offered by the Arthur Carhart National Wilderness Training Center, included the following sessions.

Monday, September 14

What is the National Wilderness Preservation System? recording. This session provided agency staff with general knowledge of the National Wilderness Preservation System, important restrictions, and what they mean to agencies and the public. Presenter: McKinney Briske, Interpretation and Education Training Representative (detail), Arthur Carhart National Wilderness Training Center. (Note: Due to technical difficulties with closed captioning, it is not available during this recording but a transcript is provided.)

Preserving Wilderness Character: A Multi-agency Responsibility recording. This session defined wilderness character and further explored how to integrate wilderness character into agency wilderness planning, monitoring, stewardship, and day-to-day operations. Presenter: Tim Devine, NPS Representative, Arthur Carhart National Wilderness Training Center.

Tuesday, September 15

Preserving the Untrammeled and Natural Qualities of Wilderness Character recording. In this session, attendees learned about the untrammeled and natural qualities, and the unique relationship they have. Participants were introduced to the resources that are available to help guide analysis so that impacts to wilderness character are minimized to the greatest extent practicable. (To fully engage in this session, we suggest watching the preceding "Preserving Wilderness Character" session too.) Presenter: James Sippel, BLM Representative, Arthur Carhart National Wilderness Training Center.

A Case Study: The Ecological Effects of a Rapidly Changing Climate recording. This session explored how to interpret what Wilderness is (or should be) in a world in which the climate itself is driven by carbon and methane emissions being pumped into the atmosphere by human engineering. The Kenai National Wildlife Refuge, a two million acre boreal forest on the Kenai Peninsula in southcentral Alaska, was used as a case study. Presenter: Dr. John Morton, recently retired Supervisory Biologist for the USFWS.

Wednesday, September 16

Minimum Requirements and the Minimum Requirements Decision Guide recording. A minimum requirements analysis (MRA) is required by law whenever land managers are considering a use prohibited by Section 4(c) of the Wilderness Act of 1964. This session explored the Minimum Requirements Decision Guide (MRDG) which is designed to help wilderness managers comply with the fundamental tenets of the Wilderness Act of 1964 and make appropriate and defensible wilderness decisions. Presenter: Ken Straley, Recreation, Wilderness, & Trails Program Manager, Grand Mesa, Uncompahgre, and Gunnison National Forests.

A Case Study: The Minimum Requirements Decision Guide recording. In this session, participants navigated the process of using the MRDG for a real-life case study in Wilderness. Participants were provided with background information prior to the session and then walked through completing the MRDG during this session. (To fully engage in this session, we suggest watching the previous MRDG session too.) Presenter: Michelle Reilly, USFWS Representative, Arthur Carhart National Wilderness Training Center.

Thursday, September 17

Visitor Use and First Timers to Wilderness recording. In this session, participants will explore novel visitor use patterns caused by the global pandemic. We will hear about marketing concepts and first-time consumers and explore how these concepts might be used by natural resource managers to understand novel users and use patterns in wilderness. Presenters: Ralph Swain, USFS Rocky Mountain Regional Wilderness & Rivers Program Manager.

Manage Wilderness as a Whole & Protect Wilderness Benefits recording. In this session participants gained knowledge about managing all components of wilderness toward a common goal: the preservation of wilderness character. This session explored the full spectrum of wilderness character including tangible and intangible qualities and how to balance between benefits inherent to successful wilderness stewardship. Presenters: Juliette Fernandez, USFWS Ridgefield Refuge Complex Project Leader & Erin Drake, Communications and Outreach Specialist, NPS-Wilderness Stewardship Division.

Questions

Contact Elaine Poser, elaine.poser@usda.gov, 406-239-6121 or Holly Metzger, holly.metzger@usda.gov, 406-381-2203.