2009 Conference Wrap-up

Zion National Park, March 25 – 29, 2009

Despite the shaky economy and chilly March weather, this year’s conference in Zion National Park in southwestern Utah had an excellent turnout, with more than 50 participants. As in the past few years there was a good mix of long-time members and newcomers, with eleven individuals who were attending their first conference. Conference participants came from Colorado, New Mexico, South Carolina, Virginia, Indiana, Illinois, Pennsylvania, Oklahoma, Texas, Georgia, Utah, and Wyoming.

Due to transportation and trail restrictions we opted to break into small groups for most hikes and field trips, taking advantage of the skills of a few of our more ambitious photographers. Members also presented workshops and the park service provided a lively ranger talk and a ranger-led hike.

Members Linda Martin & Ryan Weishalla on one of the member-led hikes along the Virgin River.(photo by Don Laine) Along_the_Virgin_River_2009_DRL

The group also received a presentation on global warming’s effect on outdoor recreation from the president of the Wildlife Management Institute, and the director of the Zion Field Institute gave a brief talk and some excellent photo location tips. New this year was a showcase of selected members’ photography, which we hope will become an annual event.

Sunrise2_2009_DRL RMOWPers catch the early morning light on the back of Zion Canyon from the eastern portal of the park.(photo by Don Laine)