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Outdoor Educators Gather in North Carolina

BLACK MOUNTAIN, N.C. - October 20, 1998--Some of the nation's leading experts in wilderness adventure programing and outdoor safety will be gathering here Oct. 23-25 for the 1998 Wilderness Risk Management Conference.

The conference, which is hosted by the National Outdoor Leadership School, Outward Bound USA, and the Student Conservation Association will present information on field and medical issues, legal and ethical issues, and management issues in adventure-based wilderness programming. The conference is sponsored by the Wilderness Risk Managers Committee, a national consortium of outdoor schools, organizations and land management agencies that promote human powered use of wilderness. The keynote speaker is John Graham, author of Outdoor Leadership and the executive director of The Giraffe Project.

The event will be an opportunity to learn from experts in recreation management. To date, the conference has over 200 registrants from across the country. They represent university and private outdoor programs, outfitters, youth programs, and city and county risk managers.

The conference will be an opportunity to share field and administrative techniques in risk management and discuss risk management standards in the wilderness adventure industry. There will also be optional one-day pre-conference clinics for whitewater, sea kayak, and rock climbing rescue, among others.

In 1994, NOLS coordinated the first wilderness risk managers conference, held at the school's Pacific Northwest branch in Conway, Wash. Since that time, nearly 1,000 people representing 375 organizations have attended the event. Founded in 1965 by mountaineer and educator Paul Petzoldt, NOLS is the recognized leader in wilderness education. As a private non-profit school, NOLS operates wilderness field expeditions around the world. Students are taught wilderness skills and safety, practical conservation, and leadership. The school's alumni total over 40,000 graduates worldwide. NOLS' international headquarters is in Lander, Wyo., and the school runs 14 to 95-day courses from eight branches: Rocky Mountain, Pacific Northwest, Southwest, Alaska, Yukon, Mexico, Patagonia (Chile), and .

The conference will be held at the YMCA Blue Ridge Assembly and is the fifth annual conference; each year the conference is held in a different location to assemble fresh ideas from the various regions.

Press Contact:
Bruce Palmer
National Outdoor Leadership School
(307) 332-1230


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