The National Wilderness Preservation System totals over 100 million acres and is managed by four separate federal agencies: the Bureau of Land Management, the National Park Service, the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, and the U.S. Forest Service. Managing wilderness is a function of each agency, and because each has their own enabling legislation, missions, policies, procedures, and organizational cultures, achieving consistency in wilderness management is fraught with complexities.
The Arthur Carhart National Wilderness Training Center partnered with the Eppley Institute to develop a suite of web-based courses to provide federal employees and stakeholders with consistent, accurate, and innovative education regarding the management of wilderness areas in the United States. Working with representatives from each of the four land management agencies, the Eppley Institute lent its expertise in distributed education, federal training requirements, and protected area administration to the design and creation of these educational tools.
To date, six e-courses have been produced on topics including the Wilderness Act, the Minimum Requirements Decision Process, the Wilderness Stewardship Planning Framework, and Visitor Use Management. Future courses expected to be developed include the Four Cornerstones of Wilderness Stewardship, Natural & Cultural Resource Management, Wilderness Character Monitoring, and Climate Change & Wilderness.