Five Alaskan teens will travel to Albuquerque, New Mexico to attend the National Wilderness Conference from October 15 -19. The youth will share Alaskan perspectives on the meaning and future of Wilderness. The teens are active participants in the Chugach Children’s Forest, a partnership between the Chugach National Forest and Alaska Geographic. Their participation at the conference is one of several ways the Chugach Children’s Forest and Alaskan youth have been involved this year in programs highlighting the 50th Anniversary of the Wilderness Act.
The five teens, all high school students from the Anchorage School District, have been selected to represent Alaskan youth at the National Wilderness Conference. The Conference commemorates the 50th Anniversary of the Wilderness Act and will be attended by public land managers, outdoor-oriented businesses and nonprofits, and outdoor advocacy groups from across the country.
The conference is incorporating youth voices as a way to engage the next generation in conversations about the future of Wilderness. The Chugach National Forest and Alaska Geographic are proudly sponsoring the teens, who are some of the Chugach Children’s Forest most dynamic, engaged, and vocal youth leaders. The teens will participate on three separate panels that will address issues such as dwindling youth engagement in the outdoors and how to maintain the relevancy of Wilderness to youth in an increasingly urbanizing, tech-oriented society.
Youth participation in the National Wilderness Conference was made possible by funding from the USDA Forest Service – Region 10, Alaska Geographic, and the Association of Partners for Public Lands.