A wilderness, in contrast with those areas where man and his 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.
In 1964, the U.S. Congress passed a law known as the Wilderness Act, which created a National Wilderness Preservation System to provide an "enduring resource of wilderness" for present and future generations. This law designated 9-million acres of federal public lands as Wilderness, and subsequent acts of Congress have added additional Wilderness areas to the National Wilderness Preservation System. Today, over 106-million acres across the country are protected as Wilderness, the highest form of protection for our public lands.
Last updated: September 20, 2023