Engaging Locals & Visitors in Destination Stewardship
Oregon’s public lands saw a dramatic increase in visitation in 2020. Social distancing guidelines prompted many Oregonians and visitors to spend more time outside and, in many cases, engage in new outdoor recreation activities.
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More people experiencing the great outdoors is highly beneficial for individuals and society, however, increased use may also lead to strain and negative impacts on public land, facilities and nearby communities. In this session, panelists will share innovative and inspiring strategies to engage locals and visitors in land stewardship. The strategies and topics shared in the session are relevant to trail groups, land managers, stewardship organizations, destination management/marketing organizations and tour operators.
Alyssa Archer, Executive Director, Cascade Volunteers
Alyssa Archer is a nonprofit professional with a passion for public lands. She currently serves as the Executive Director of Cascade Volunteers, the 501(c)(3) friends group partner of the Willamette National Forest. Her primary responsibility is to grow the organization’s philanthropic support base to ensure its financial future and to enable CV to better serve the Willamette National Forest. Recently, Alyssa has been collaborating with local destination management organizations and outfitter guides to create opportunities that combine forest stewardship and tourism. Her previous work experience includes volunteer management, marketing, interpretive programs, and secondary education. When she’s not working, you can find Alyssa skiing, climbing, or hiking in Oregon’s Cascades.
Arica Sears, Deputy Director, Oregon Coast Visitors Association
Arica Sears was raised in the hand-me-down wetsuits, life jackets, and rubber boots of her two brothers and the waters of the Nestucca River. Her International Studies degree paved the way for her to research the effects of globalization in Peru on indigenous communities, count by-catch on the Ecuadorian coast, teach English in Spain & France and guide scuba diving in Mallorca. Arica is the host of the Big Tourism Podcast and currently works for the Oregon Coast Visitors Association as the Deputy Director for all 363 miles of Oregon coastline. She works with land management agencies, local businesses, nonprofits, government entities, and citizens to inspire travel and strengthen collaboration to create and steward a sustainable coastal economy.