National Wilderness Conference

After receiving nearly 400 submissions of presentations and panels as of January 10th (closing of the public application process), a robust and engaging program is emerging. Acceptance letters will be sent out in early March and April. The final program will be available in May along with the opening of registration.

Youth Scholarships
Through generous donations from Ahnu and the Forest Service, the Youth Leader Wilderness Scholarship Program is accepting applications until May 16.

What: The National Wilderness Conference program - the first national gathering of the wilderness community in 25 years - will be filled with diverse plenary sessions, presentations, panels, exhibits, field learning, and skill development workshops, all culminating in the public, outdoor 'Get Wild' Festival. Pre-conference training, field trips, K-12 Wilderness Investigations Teacher Workshops, and the People's Wilderness Film Gala are offered before and after the conference. The companion Wilderness Celebration Exhibition will showcase organizational booths surrounding the Wilderness Awareness Trail for grade- and middle-school students and will be open to the public for one day in addition to conference attendees.

When: conference occurs October 15-19; 'Get Wild' Festival occurs October 18; the People's Film Gala has two showings scheduled for October 14 and 19; audience-specific pre-conference trainings will be offered October 14-15; field trips including mult-day backpacking trips, day trips and half-day trips are available before and after the conference

Where: Hyatt Regency Albuquerque (conference), Albuquerque Convention Center (exhibitors), adjacent Civic Plaza (festival), and the historic KiMo Theater (film gala) in Albuquerque, NM

Goals: Goals for the National Wilderness Conference include:

  1. To provide a forum for discussing the growing challenges of perpetuating the values of Wilderness in a time of unprecedented environmental and social change;
  2. Deepen participants' engagement in Wilderness stewardship and enable their effective involvement in the difficult decisions that lie ahead.

Details: Download the following brochures:

Cost and Registration: The registration fee for the National Wilderness Conference will be between $200 and $350 and includes a participant packet and participation in all sessions, receptions, exhibitor hall displays, and events including the opening ceremony and festival. 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 are not included in the registration fee but can be purchased when registering. Online registration will begin in May. Scholarships for students and young seasonal wilderness workers are available.