The Wilderness Act

The Wilderness Act of 1964 defines Wilderness as “areas where the earth and its communities of life are left unchanged by people, where the primary forces of nature are in control, and where people themselves are visitors who do not remain.”

On September 3, 1964 President Lyndon B. Johnson signed into law the Wilderness Act. This historic bill established the National Wilderness Preservation System (NWPS) and set aside an initial 9.1 million acres of wildlands for the use and benefit of the American people. The 757 wilderness areas within the NWPS are managed by all four federal land managing agencies, the Bureau of Land Management, Fish and Wildlife Service, Forest Service, and National Park Service. In 2014, the United States will celebrate “50 Years of Wilderness,” a historical commemoration honoring the “True American Legacy of Wilderness.” A national team has been created to plan educational events, projects, and programs to raise awareness of wilderness during the 50th anniversary year.

Wilderness Links: