President Biden Proclaims September 2021 as National Wilderness Month

Two people stand a top a bluff overlooking the Buffalo National River Wilderness Area.
Visitors enjoy the scenic views of the Buffalo National River Wilderness.

Photo Credit: Jeff Rose

"During National Wilderness Month, we affirm that our Nation’s public lands and waters must be accessible to all Americans, we recognize that our lands and waters can revitalize the soul and solidify our respect for the natural wonders that surround us and the earth we share, and we recommit to their preservation and protection, today and for future generations."

Did you know over 80 percent of all National Park Service (NPS) lands are managed as wilderness? President Biden has proclaimed September 2021 as National Wilderness Month and the NPS is joining in the celebration! Throughout September, we will celebrate our federal wilderness areas and the 57th anniversary of the Wilderness Act.

The Wilderness Act established the National Wilderness Preservation System. Wilderness areas are designated by an act of Congress and this designation provides the highest level of legal protection for some of the most unique wildlands in the United States.
Visit our keyboard shortcuts docs for details
2 minutes, 50 seconds

The Wilderness Act of 1964 established the National Wilderness Preservation System, a national network of more than 800 federally-designated wilderness areas. These wilderness areas are managed by the National Park Service, Bureau of Land Management, US Fish and Wildlife Service, and US Forest Service.

Wilderness is more than just forested mountains - NPS wilderness protects deserts, alpine meadows, tundra, lava beds, sand dunes, swamps, and coasts. Much of this diverse wilderness also reflects thousands of years of human residence, further strengthening our connection to these special places. Wildernesss stewardship builds upon the legacy of shared connections between people and the land. Existing long before national parks and federal wilderness areas, the rich cultural traditions of indigenous people and later immigrants with lands now managed as wilderness is important to recognize and respect.

Wilderness offers many benefits for everyone. These dynamic areas offer places for improved mental and physical health, clean air and water, habitat protection, and support community-based economic vitality. Together, the benefits of wilderness show that wilderness is good for us, our communities, and our planet.

The NPS invites everyone to celebrate National Wilderness Month with us this year. To learn more about wilderness, visit and check out our America's Wilderness webisode series to virtually visit the wilderness of Fire Island National Seashore, Congaree National Park, Rocky Mountain National Park, and Wrangell-St. Elias National Park and Preserve, and many more!

And remember, if you're able to get out and explore a wilderness area, help ensure that everyone has a positive and inspiring experience by Recreating Responsibly and practicing Leave No Trace ethics and principles.

Last updated: August 31, 2021