2021 Natural Areas Conference

Life from the Ashes: Exploring the Impact of Prescribed & Natural Fire on insects and other Invertebrates

Ecosystems throughout North America evolved with wildfire.  Today, prescribed fire is an important tool for managing habitat by maintaining open early seral landscapes. Fire can greatly improve the value of habitat for insects and other invertebrates, often increasing species abundance and diversity, however, fire (both natural and prescribed) in the wrong place, at the wrong scale, or at the wrong time can have the opposite effect—damaging native plant and invertebrate communities which may take decades to fully recover.

This program is provided in a collaboration between the Natural Areas Association (NAA) and the Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation (Xerces). NAA serves those dedicated to the management and restoration of biologically important natural areas in North America. Xerces is an international nonprofit organization that protects the natural world through the conservation of invertebrates and their habitats. Protecting nature requires reliable science to inform practices on-the-ground and a network of stewards who work tirelessly to protect, manage and restore land and water biodiversity.

2021 Virtual Natural Areas Conference – A One-day Symposium
Tuesday, October 19, 2021
11:00 am - 5:00 pm EASTERN 
Registration opens this summer.

The Natural Areas Association recognizes the importance of celebrating the people and organizations that have made exceptional contributions to stewarding natural areas.

NAA presents two annual awards, the George B. Fell Award, and Carl N. Becker Award, to shine light on those who have significantly advocated for and advanced the protection and stewardship of natural areas. Here is a past recipient list.
  • George B. Fell Award is the NAA’s highest honor recognizing an individual’s exceptional accomplishments in the natural areas profession in areas such as research, methods, education or policy that advance knowledge in the identification and conservation of natural areas. 
  • Carl N Becker Stewardship Award recognizes excellence and achievement in managing reserves, parks, wilderness and other protected areas. 

2021 recipients will be notified in early September, and announced on October 19, 2021 during the 2021 Virtual Natural Areas Conference – A One-day Symposium.  2021 recipients will receive their awards at a celebratory event to take place during the 2022 In-Person Natural Areas Conference in Duluth, MN, September 6 - 8, 2022.


Join the people who protect and manage our natural areas.