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Wilderness Act 50 th Anniversary National Conference. Wilderness50 Planning Team. Coalition of 26 Wilderness and environmental organizations, federal agencies, non-profit organizations and academic institutions planning local, regional and national events

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Wilderness act 50 th anniversary national conference

Wilderness Act 50th Anniversary National Conference

Wilderness50 planning team

  • Coalition of 26 Wilderness and environmental organizations, federal agencies, non-profit organizations and academic institutions planning local, regional and national events

  • National Conference Committee is comprised of a team of 24 individuals from non-governmental organizations, federal agencies, and NGOs.

  • New Mexico Wilderness Alliance

Goals for the national conference
Goals for the National Conference

  • To provide a forum for discussing the growing challenges of perpetuating the values of Wilderness in a time of unprecedented environmental and social change;

  • Deepen participants' engagement in Wilderness stewardship and enable their effective involvement in the difficult decisions that lie ahead.

Albuquerque new mexico october 15 19 2014
Albuquerque, New MexicoOctober 15-19, 2014

pre-conference trainings

diverse plenary sessions,




field trips

skill development workshops,

all culminating in the public, outdoor 'Get Wild' Festival 

Albuquerque new mexico
Albuquerque, New Mexico

Hyatt Regency Hotel

Andaluz Hotel

Double Tree Hotel

Albuquerque Convention Center

Civic Plaza- “Get Wild” Festival

6 tracks
6 Tracks

History: The Evolving Wilderness

Stewardship: Professionalization and Challenges

Education: Preparing Tomorrow's Stewards

Experience: The Value of Diverse Perspectives

Civic Engagement: Preservation is Only the Beginning

Science for Wilderness; Wilderness for Science


History: The Evolving WildernessLeading scholars will tell inspiring stories of how the wilderness concept evolved. Sessions will discuss the landscape and social changes that led to the wilderness movement, and the ideas and ideals, the hopes and fears and concerns for the future that motivated the framers of the Wilderness Act. But history too evolves, and sessions will explore diverse interpretations related to our wilderness frontier cultural heritage and its role in shaping our national character and identity.


Education: Preparing Tomorrow's StewardsTo succeed, wilderness management must work to prevent social and physical impacts, prepare future stewards, raise public awareness and cultivate and involve more diverse constituents in support of wilderness. Sessions in this track offer field-tested information for wilderness education program development, implementation, evaluation, and fundraising strategies in difficult economic times. Real-life education success stories will be offered as a foundation for building new or enhancing existing wilderness education programs.


Experience: The Value of Diverse PerspectivesThis track will provide a forum for those who participate in, study, or manage recreation in wilderness. Whether visitors come for the challenge of an arduous trek or just to be in a world apart from the distractions of modern civilization, they arrive with motivations, perspectives, and behaviors that need to be better understood if the full range of experiential benefits is to be provided while protecting wilderness resources. As well, sessions will include the existence and symbolic values experienced by millions who will never set foot in Wilderness.

Civic engagement
Civic Engagement

Civic Engagement: Preservation is Only the BeginningOur nation's decision-making on wilderness involves public participation at its very heart, from wilderness establishment to debate on management in challenging economic and climate-stressed times. Congressional staff, environmental professionals, under-served community leaders, and agency personnel will discuss the new age of civic engagement in preserving and managing our nation's wilderness heritage, as well as the changing demographics of the wilderness constituency in an era governed by social media. Sessions will focus on innovations and traditions of activism through individual volunteerism, organizational involvement, and electoral participation.


Science for Wilderness; Wilderness for ScienceSessions in this track include topics from both the ecological and social sciences. Presentations will describe ecosystem services provided by wilderness, and its value as a natural laboratory, lending insights into how the natural world functions when left wild, and how it responds to large-scale, human-caused influences, such as global climate change. Presentations will examine research findings that enable better stewardship-from new understandings of how wilderness can be protected to how visitor experiences and behaviors can be affected by various management approaches.

Speaker and events rfp
Speaker and Events RFP

  • Event RFP closed August 31st

    • Pre-conference training

    • Fieldtrips

    • Film festival

    • Cultural events

  • Speaker/presenter RFP closed January 31st

    • 370 proposals receivedfor the 6 tracks

    • Committee is finalizing the program

Keynote speakers
Keynote Speakers

  • President Jimmy Carter

  • Secretary Sally Jewell

  • Senator Martin Heinrich, NM

  • Representative Ben Ray Luján

  • Dr. Sylvia Earle- Chief Scientist at NOAA

  • Princess Lujac- Alaska Native

  • Terry Tempest Williams- Author activist

  • Doug Brinkley- Author historian

  • David Forman- Wildlands Project

  • Juan Martinez- Advocate for youth involvement

  • Rue Mapp- Outdoor Afro

Youth scholarships
Youth Scholarships

  • Application process

    • April 1-May 16

    •  at least 10 selected young people

    • Questions: Wilderness50YouthScholarship@gmail.com


  • Opens in May!

  • The registration fee for the National Wilderness Conference will be $300 and includes a participant packet and participation in all sessions, receptions, Wilderness Celebration Exhibition exhibitor hall displays, and events including the opening ceremony and closing day 'Get Wild' Festival, which is open to the public as well as to conference participants.

  • Speakers who present as part of the tracks (not posters) will receive an approximate 25% discount on registration. 

  • Field trips, pre-conference training, and the film gala offered before and after the conference are not included in the registration fee.

  • Costs for field trips will vary, depending on the duration and type of trip, though most trips will require that participants only pay a minimal transportation fee and bag lunch (for day-long trips).