VUM Topic of Next Wilderness Webinar

Adirondack Wilderness Advocates is announcing its third Wilderness Webinar, which will begin at 7:00 pm on Wednesday, October 13, 2021 and feature a nationally-renowned authority on the subject of wilderness management.

Visitor Use Management (VUM) is getting a lot of attention in discussions about how best to manage and protect the Forest Preserve. But what is it and how can it benefit the Adirondack Park? How does it relate to the recently-released advisory reports for managing the High Peaks Wilderness?

Join wilderness management expert Chad Dawson for an in-depth webinar on this timely topic. Dawson, a Professor Emeritus at SUNY ESF as well as a former APA Board Member, joined Adirondack Wilderness Advocates as a technical advisor in 2021. The event will be free and open to the public.

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) is required to produce unit management plans (UMPs) for each tract of public land it oversees, and VUM will likely become a key part of how many actions are conceived, implemented, and monitored over time. How is this process different from what DEC has been doing for years? What are the advantages and benefits?

“The concept of Visitor Use Management is nothing new, startling, or controversial, and it is widely accepted in resource and recreation management across the United States,” says Dawson. It is, however, a new topic when it comes to how the Adirondacks will be managed. “The recently released High Peaks Advisory Group (HPAG) report recommends the VUM framework, and the Wildlands Monitoring Guidance of Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) added VUM into its title and narrative.”

The Wildlands Monitoring Guidance was designed by Adirondack Park Agency and DEC field staff to address localized and specific management issues (such as visitor trail impacts) and the VUM framework was designed for a range of resource and visitor use issues over large and small geographic areas.

If VUM sounds like a radical change to the way things have always been done, Dawson suggests that this is only because the process has been misunderstood. “DEC administrators are daunted by the additional transparency and accountability that are integral to a VUM process,” he says, “even though the HPAG report strongly encourages them to engage VUM and adaptive management.”

What better opportunity to learn about VUM than to participate in a Wilderness Webinar conducted by one of the nation’s foremost experts! There will be opportunities to ask questions, and the event will be recorded for later viewing.

This webinar will be conducted via Zoom. The event is free, but pre-registration is required. To sign up, please click the following button:

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting. We look forward to seeing you there!

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