Celebrating the 35th Anniversary of the Wilderness Act at Point Reyes National Seashore

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Date: September 20, 1999
Contact: John Dell'Osso, 415-464-5135

In celebration of the 35th Anniversary of the Wilderness Act (P.L. 88-577) this month, Superintendent Don Neubacher announced two special events taking place at the Seashore during September. On September 25th, author Stephen Altschuler will be presenting a program on renewing the spirit through experiencing wilderness. Mr. Altschuler brings his vision and personal experiences in ways of slowing down and opening the heart. His talk will be at the Bear Valley Visitor Center on Saturday, September 25 from 6:00 - 7:30 pm. Tickets can be purchased in advance by calling the Point Reyes National Seashore Association office at (415) 663-1200.

Additionally, there is a display at the Bear Valley Visitor Center on wilderness areas around the nation that are within National Park lands. This travelling exhibit will be on display for most of September. “At Point Reyes, coastal wilderness offers magnificent scenery, protects biological diversity, and gives the visitor a chance to experience a community of life untouched by man.” stated Superintendent Neubacher.

The Point Reyes National Seahsore Wilderness area was designated by Public Law 94-544 in 1976. At that time, 25,370 acers of wilderness was established along with 8,003 acres of potential wilderness. Public Law 99-68, approved July 19, 1985, designated the Point Reyes Wilderness area as the Phillip Burton Wilderness in recognition of his dedication and protection of the Nation's resources.

The significance of the wilderness designation at Point Reyes is unusual due to the fact that the Seashore lies just one hour’s driving time from a population of over 7 million people in the greater Bay Area. To go from a crowded freeway to a secluded oak woodland forest surrounded by sounds of rustling leaves in the wind is truly remarkable. Studies have shown that one out of every two people in the United States lives within 50 miles of the coast.

The definition in the original legislation for wilderness is, “[A wilderness,] in contrast with those areas where man and his own works dominate the landscape, is hereby recognized as an area where the earth and its community of life are untrammeled by man, where man himself is a visitor who does not remain.” The purpose of this Congressional act was to preserve lands in their natural state so people now and in the future will enjoy and use these areas.

Some significant facts about Point Reyes National Seashore:

  • contains over 71,000 acres of land
  • approximately 32,000 acres of wilderness
  • designated the Phillip Burton Wilderness Area in 1985
  • visited by 2.5 million people each year
  • host to nearly 18% of the State’s flowering plant species
  • has recorded over 45% of the species of birds in North America
  • is host to 22 threatened and endangered species
  • 80 miles of coastline
  • 147 miles of trails
  • over 200 designated historic structures
  • over 80 known archeological sites


Last updated: February 28, 2015

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Mailing Address:

1 Bear Valley Road
Point Reyes Station, CA 94956


This number will initially be answered by an automated attendant, from which one can opt to access a name directory, listen to recorded information about the park (i.e., directions to the park; visitor center hours of operation; weather forecast; fire danger information; shuttle bus system status; wildlife updates; ranger-led programs; seasonal events; etc.), or speak with a ranger. Please note that if you are calling between 4:30 pm and 10 am, park staff may not be available to answer your call.

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