Wilderness Webinars

In 2021, we launched our “Wilderness Webinar” series, an interactive forum on critical issues in Adirondack Wilderness protection. Each will feature a short presentation of the scheduled topic, followed by a question-and-answer session with webinar participants. The webinars will be free and open to the public.

Past “Wilderness Webinar” sessions may be viewed below.

“Kayla White: Stewardship within the Adirondack Park”

November 16, 2021. AWA’s Board Chair Kayla White talks about the many great examples of stewardship within the Adirondack Park, its importance regarding resource protection, and how different organizations can work together to convey a unifying message.

The NYS Department of Environmental Conservation has long depended on — and partnered with — organizations to deploy stewards. From summits to trailheads to water access points, these stewards help educate the public on responsible recreation and enlist their help in protecting the Forest Preserve. With more and more people recreating within the Park and in wild places, investment in stewardship programs is a low-budget, easy way that the state can invest in resource protection that works.

“Chad Dawson: Visitor Use Management”

October 13, 2021. 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?

Chad Dawson, a Professor Emeritus at SUNY ESF as well as a former APA Board Member, explains how 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. 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.

“An App for Better Trailhead Data Management”

September 1, 2021. Long-time AWA member and board member Ari Epstein walked through the proof-of-concept Visitor Use Management Tool he has been developing, which could someday be implemented at popular trailheads to support adaptive management in and around the Adirondack Park.

Ari, who works in public sector data management and innovation, talked about what we have accomplished so far and how this tool could be used in collaboration with organizations within and beyond the Adirondack Park. He discussed how this tool fits into an array of efforts that seek to enhance the wild character of the Forest Preserve through better monitoring, visitor education, and rapid adaptation.

“All About the HPAG Report”

May 26, 2021. In the inaugural Wilderness Webinar, AWA Board member and High Peaks Advisory Group (HPAG) member Pete Nelson talked about the recently released HPAG Final Report. He gave a brief overview of the most important topics both in the report and in the actions taken since its release, then opened the floor to question and answer session. Topics included:

  • Three big themes in the HPAG report
  • Media Misconceptions
  • AWA’s HPAG priorities
  • The HPAG Report’s relationship to the new  AMR/DEC Hiker Reservation system Permit pilot and Route 73 parking restrictions
  • How to make and measure progress on the report’s recommendations.