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July 19, 2022


12:00 pm - 2:00 pm

Regional Perspectives on Community-Driven Conservation in the Appalachian Landscape

When: July 19th from 12-2pm Eastern via Zoom

Click Here to Register to Attend

The Appalachian Trail Landscape Partnership invites all partners to join for the first of two virtual sessions on July 19th at 12pm. The importance of community-driven approaches to conservation are essential to the mission of the Appalachian Trail Landscape Partnership to connect the wild, scenic, and cultural wonders of the Appalachian Trail and its surrounding landscape. This first session will showcase approaches to community-driven conservation from regional partners across the Appalachian Trail Landscape that reinforce the goals of the ATLP Strategic Plan to accelerate the equitable protection of land in partnership with communities.

Click Here to View ATLP’s Strategic Plan

ATLP Virtual Session 2 Information Coming Soon! Session 2 will be held in September on Thinking Globally: Science & Policy Drivers for Large-Landscape Conservation in the Appalachians. Subscribe to the ATLP Newsletter to receive event information and more delivered to your inbox!

Speaker Information

An Office of Outdoor Recreation for Pennsylvania

Nathan Reigner, Director of Outdoor Recreation Director, PA DCNR

Outdoor recreation is a powerful force in Pennsylvania – a force to improve the physical and mental health of Pennsylvanians, a force to conserve and sustainably leverage Pennsylvania’s natural resources, and a force for the prosperity and vibrance of our commonwealth. Leading outdoor recreation states around the country have recognized this and established offices of outdoor recreation to grow and empower their outdoor recreation sectors. It is time for Pennsylvania to join these leaders and more fully deliver the benefits of outdoor recreation to Pennsylvanians as individuals, communities, and a commonwealth.

  • More about Nathan: Dr. Reigner is a social scientist with extensive experience analyzing, planning for, managing and building collaboration to support outdoor recreation at every level from the local to the international. Throughout his career he has served as a policy analyst, consultant, business owner, university professor, conservation commissioner, and trail club leader, all with a focus on helping communities, parks, trails, and tourism destinations deliver outstanding experiences while protecting their essential character.

Session Resource: Pennsylvania’s Director of Outdoor Recreation

Session Resource: Pennsylvania’s State Comprehensive Outdoor Recreation Plan

Nikwasi Initiative – Centering Culture in Collaboration

Elaine Eisenbraun, Executive Director of the Nikwasi Initiative

Born out of a contemporary need to protect culturally significant mound sites of the Cherokee people, the Nikwasi Initiative became a community-led effort to enhance cultural landscape knowledge and develop a Cultural Corridor along more than 60 miles of the Little Tennessee River. Throughout the original homelands of the Cherokee, this organization focuses on creating cultural education opportunities, trails, and on-site interpretation designed to promote improved visibility of significant Cherokee landmarks and to advance cross-cultural understanding.

  • More about Elaine: Elaine comes to the forefront of the cultural landscape from executive director positions in river/landscape restoration, environmental education, and cultural health. Elaine has extensive experience facilitating landscape and social collaborative groups with disparate voices to help them find connections across cultures. She has been a forester, wilderness guide, organic farmer, and teacher. In addition to her work with the Nikwasi Initiative, Elaine serves as an environmental education advisor to the EPA. Her BSF degree in Forest Management from the UNH preceded a MS in Business Leadership and Management from WGU.

Session Resource: Nikwasi Initiative

Environmental Justice Informed Conservation Investments

Kristen Sykes, Director of Southern New England Conservation Projects at the Appalachian Mountain Club

In the face of increased use of the outdoors during the pandemic, the Appalachian Mountain Club (AMC) has prioritized efforts to see Land and Water Conservation Fund investment in Massachusetts provide more public spaces and overcome the nature gap in communities by using environmental justice criteria to inform conservation investments.

  • More about Kristen: Since 2004, Kristen has worked extensively with AMC to advance land conservation, trails, and recreational access throughout the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic regions. She has a Master of Science in Environmental Studies from the University of Montana and a BA in International Relations from California State University Sacramento.

Session Resource: Access to Trails, Parks, and Green Spaces in Springfield, MA (arcgis.com)

This event is presented by the Appalachian Trail Landscape Partnership. If you have any questions or trouble registering, email us at ATLP@appalachiantrail.org.