Past Trainings & Workshops

The August 15-17 Visitor Use Management Workshop was a huge success! Over 140 virtual and in-person participants heard case studies, discussed challenges and opportunities for VUM implementation, and identified ways to support each other to share and elevate visitor use management work across the U.S. and Canada. Workshop presentations and notes are available in the Visitor Use Management community (open to SORP members) by following this link. Thanks again to workshop sponsors and friends for your support!

Workshop Description

Land and water managers from across the United States and Canada have similar goals:  providing high-quality outdoor recreation experiences and protecting natural and cultural resources as visitor use increases and public expectations change. Managing people and places requires a comprehensive approach that considers community vitality, individual and collective connections to the outdoors, and the resilience of natural and cultural resources. 

The Society of Outdoor Recreation Professionals (SORP) is hosting a hybrid workshop to share local, state and federal perspectives on visitor use management. Managers in the New England region have a long history of working across jurisdictions to plan for and provide outdoor recreation opportunities so the Maine coast is a great place to gather together to hear case studies and discuss best practices and lessons learned for visitor use management. We're also offering a virtual connection option for those who can't travel for the workshop.


Foster connection, learning, networking, and professional development among the outdoor recreation community planning and managing visitor use


  • Create shared understanding of visitor use management and discuss implementation issues for federal and non-federal land and water managers
  • Identify successes and lessons learned in implementing visitor use management across various jurisdictions (e.g., federal, state, provincial, publicly-access private lands)
  • Identify best practices for visitor use management across multiple land management jurisdictions

Target Attendees: 

State, federal, and local land and water managers, university researchers and professors, VUM consultants

U.S. public land and water management are grounded in settler colonialism, including Indigenous land dispossessions and violations of Tribal Treaties. This free training series features four sessions that bring Indigenous scholars and land managers into conversation about  reimagining outdoor recreation through decolonization, Indigenous value systems, and Indigenous futures. 

Each 90 minute session featured a panel presentation from Indigenous leaders and breakout discussions with participants to further the dialogue around outdoor recreation professionals’ role in decolonization. 

October 12, 2022

History of Indigenous Lands Dispossession 

While “public lands” seems like a commonly accepted term in the United States, this phrase fails to acknowledge that, since time immemorial, Indigenous Peoples have maintained deep connections to all of the lands in this country, including those that fall under federal, state, or local management authority . Session 1 explores the colonial history of public land designation and management, including the dispossessions of Indigenous Peoples from their lands in order to create National Parks and other protected areas.  


  • Lara Jacobs, Post-doctoral researcher at Michigan State University
  • Pat Gonzales Rogers, Lecturer and Distinguished Practitioner in Residence, Yale University

October 19, 2022

Tribal Co-management of Parks and Protected Areas

Several parks and protected areas around the United States have moved to a Tribal Co-management model in the last two decades. Session 2 features Indigenous scientists working at the intersection of Western science and traditional ecological knowledge to manage parks and protected areas.


  • Dr. Jessica Hernandez, author of Fresh Banana Leaves
  • Dr. Clint Carroll, Associate Professor at Colorado State University 
  • Todd Mitchell, Director of the Swinomish Department of Environmental Protection
  • Kalani Quiochi, Cultural Resources Coordinator, Pacific Islands Region, NOAA Office of National Marine Sanctuaries

October 26, 2022

Indigenous leaders in outdoor recreation management 

New policies from federal and state land and water management agencies now recognize the importance of including Indigenous value systems in decision-making. Indigenous leaders in nonprofits and conservation corps are reconnecting tribal members with the outdoors and working with tribes and other communities to support conservation efforts. Session 3 highlights agency and nonprofit employees who are using their Indigenous knowledge to manage outdoor recreation and connect tribal members to their ancestral lands.


  • Cornell Torivio, New Mexico Regional Representative for the Continental Divide Trail Coalition
  • Maija Katak Lukin, Alaska Native Tribal Relations Program Manager, National Park Service
  • Tahlia Natachu, Executive Director, Zuni Youth Enrichment Project
  • Angie Bulletts, District Manager for Southern Nevada, Bureau of Land Management

November 2, 2022

Indigenous Futures in Parks and Protected Area Management 

While dialogue about decolonization and reciprocity on public lands is relatively new in the United States, Indigenous leaders in other countries have been working to address a more equitable framework for parks and protected area management for years. The final session explores examples from Canada and Australia and highlights tangible actions for land and water managers in the U.S. 


  • Nadie Spence, Executive Director, BC & Yukon Parks Canada
  • Leah George Wilson, former Elected Chief, current Director of Lands, Squamish Nation