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Emerging Issues Forum: Outdoor Recreation


Emerging Issue Forum: Building It the Way We Want It

April 26-27, 2023

Rochelle Gateway Center in Laramie, WY


 Outdoor Recreation Collaboratives Workshop

April 28, 2023

University of Wyoming Conference Center in Laramie, WY

How can Wyoming communities balance the benefits and impact of growing outdoor recreation and tourism—economically, culturally, and environmentally?

On April 26-27, 2023 the Ruckelshaus Institute, the Wyoming Outdoor Recreation, Tourism, and Hospitality (WORTH) Initiative, and the Wyoming Outdoor Recreation Office will convene stakeholders, managers, policy-makers, and interest groups in Laramie, WY for a forum (and field trip) addressing this question. On April 28, a workshop aimed at the Wyoming Office of Outdoor Recreation's Outdoor Recreation Collaboratives will provide skills training and peer-to-peer learning.  


  • Provide tools and knowledge that stakeholders can bring back to their constituents

  • Create space for conversations and relationship building among participants

  • Reveal what needs exist. Direct future action and support from the Ruckelshaus Institute and WORTH Institute



Click here to register ->

Registration is $75 for the forum, $25 for the workshop. Breakfast and lunch will be provided April 26-27th, and dinner on April 26th. 

Registration is capped at 220 and expected to fill. It will close April 15th, which is also the last day to cancel for a refund.

The conference will be recorded but not live-streamed.

Limited scholarships are available. Please email for more information. 

Hotels and lodging

2229 Grand Ave, Laramie, WY
(307) 745-5500
Please reference "Haub School Outdoor Rec Forum" when booking or follow this link.
Must reserve by April 5
4712 E. Grand Ave, Laramie, WY
(307) 745-0777
Please reference "Outdoor Rec Forum" when booking
Must reserve by April 18
3420 Grand Ave, Laramie, WY
(307) 721-8856
Please reference "Haub School Outdoor Rec Forum" when booking
Must reserve by April 5

For more information, contact emerging issue initiatives coordinator Birch Malotky at 


Draft Agenda


Wednesday, April 26th - Outdoor Recreation in Wyoming

Goals: Build a shared sense of the state of outdoor recreation and begin to explore its benefits and impacts at various scales 

8-9am: Registration and breakfast

9-9:30am: Welcome

9:30-10am: Speaker - The state of outdoor recreation in Wyoming

10-11am: Keynote - The value of recreation and national trends

11-12: Panel - Regional lessons from other Outdoor Recreation Offices 

12-1pm: Lunch

1-2pm: Panel - What are some of the economic, social, and environmental challenges and opportunities presented by the growth of outdoor recreation in Wyoming?


2-5pm: Concurrent sessions addressing the three pillars of sustainable development - Economic, Social, and Environmental. Participants will choose which session (or mix of sessions) they would like to attend. 

  • Economic track: Paying for and profiting from outdoor recreation

    • Panel - Building an outdoor recreation business, the many opportunities for outdoor recreation entrepreneurship

    • Lightning talk - Leveraging outdoor recreation for economic diversification

    • Panel - Who should pay for outdoor recreation and how, an exploration of suggestions and innovations

  • Social track: How can people enjoy the health and quality of life benefits offered by outdoor recreation while preserving the parts of their community that matter most?

    • Lightning talk - Nature Deficit Disorder and bridging outdoor recreation's benefits to Wyoming youth

    • Lightning talk - Bringing nature's benefits to veterans in Wyoming

    • Lightning talk - Maintaining cultural and community values in the face of outdoor recreation development

    • Facilitated exercise - Identifying values and exploring place meanings to better understand and mediate conflict amongst stakeholders around outdoor recreation

  • Environmental track: How can outdoor recreation be managed in a way that protects the resource from degradation? 

    • Lightning talk - How to shape visitor behavior through education

    • Lightning talk - When to disperse and when to concentrate

    • Lightning talk - Meeting infrastructure needs to protect the resource

    • Workshop - Bridging the gap between wildlife research and management to understand and mitigate wildlife-recreation conflict

5-6:30pm: Reception and poster session

6:30pm: Dinner


Thursday, April 27th - Building It the Way We Want It

Goals: Model a proactive approach to the growth of outdoor recreation in Wyoming, providing tools and examples that show what communities can accomplish when they work towards a mutually agreed-upon future. 

8-8:30am: Registration and breakfast

8:30-9am: [Re]Welcome and reflection

9-10am: Keynote - The Amenity Trap "The more a community's amenities draw visitors and new residents, the more proactive the community must be to avoid being loved to death"

10-11:30am: Panel - The importance of community-engaged planning and visioning with examples from around the state

11:30-12:30pm: Lunch

12:30-1pm: Speaker - Sharing the Space

1:15-2:45pm: Panel - Wyoming communities "doing it right," lessons on building coalitions and getting it done.

2:45-3:45pm: Panel - Decision-makers discuss takeaways, answer audience questions

Optional Field Trip

We know many of you may want to drive home on Thursday! If you can stick around, we'll be leading trips around Laramie that showcase our amazing outdoor recreation opportunities. Bike or hike at Pilot Hill, a shining example of community visioning, or at Curt Gowdy State Park, where you can experience the return on investment in outdoor recreation infrastructure. Bike rentals will be available locally. 

Evening Gathering

Return to Laramie for a more informal, social gathering where you can continue to build relationships, start conversations, and sample the local food scene. 


Friday, April 28th - Outdoor Recreation Collaboratives 

This is a bonus third day aimed at the Wyoming Outdoor Recreation Office's Outdoor Recreation Collaboratives (ORC's), which bring together local community members, stakeholders, federal agencies, and state agencies to support sustainable outdoor recreation growth. The day will focus on community-building, peer-learning, and tangible project implementation skills as requested by the ORC steering committees. A draft agenda is currently in production and will be posted soon. The session should end by 3pm. 

Learn more about the Outdoor Recreation Collaboratives ->

Contact Us

Haub School of Environment and Natural Resources

Bim Kendall House

804 E Fremont St

Laramie, WY 82072

Phone: (307) 766-5080

Fax: (307) 766-5099


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1000 E. University Ave. Laramie, WY 82071
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