European Wilderness Society meets the US National Park Service and US Forest Service
US National Park Service
My meeting with Erin Drake, Communications and Outreach Specialist of the National Park Service Stewardship Division, gave me a good insight in the National Park Service’s work in communicating the values and benefits of Wilderness for the public but also at an internal level with park managers and staff. Two websites (www.nps.gov/Wilderness; www.nps.gov/wsd) try to make the Wilderness message publicly accessible via projects, such as the US-wide junior ranger project. Here kids learn about topics such as wild rivers, Wilderness or large carnivores and get a patch if they correctly completed the according journal. The main message of these two websites is to show that people can be a part of and in Wilderness.
Rocky Mountain States US Forest Service
Today’s second meeting brought me to Lakewood to meet with Ralph Swain, Regional Wilderness & Rivers Program Manager for the Rocky Mountain States of the Forest Service. His work in overseeing 47 Forest Service Wilderness areas in the 5 Rocky Mountain States (Colorado, Wyoming, South Dakota, Kansas, Nebraska) makes him a great connection to exchange knowledge and experiences. We also discussed the opportunity to join this year’s Wilderness Ranger Academy in June. This would offer a great opportunity to get a hands-on experience of the work of Wilderness rangers in the US.
WILD Foundation and Leave No Trace Center
Tomorrow I am going to meet with Vance Martin of the WILD Foundation and organiser of the WILD Conference. A meeting with Ben Lawhon of the Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics is scheduled for Thursday.
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