50th Anniversary of Wilderness Act

This September we can celebrate 50 years of the Wilderness Act and the designation and preservation of many wilderness areas across the United States. Check out the map below displaying all of the current areas that are designated as wilderness:

Wilderness Areas

"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. Over the past 50 years, and as a result of America's support for wilderness, Congress has added over 100 million acres to this unique land preservation system. The 1964 Wilderness Act 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."

Download the Wilderness Boundary Data shown above:

Wilderness Statistics

Largest Wilderness Area: Wrangell-Stain Elias Wilderness, AK.
15,015.52 sq. mi., established 1980.

Smallest Wilderness Area: Pelican Island Wilderness, FL
0.01 sq. mi., establisted 1970.

Longest Boundary: Death Valley Wilderness, CA
2423.58 mi., establisted 1994.

Colorado (home of the GS Office) has 48 designated wilderness areas!

Wilderness 50, sponspored by the Wilderness Institute


Wilderness50's goals are to:

  1. Engage the public to better understand and appreciate the many benefits and values of wilderness, ultimately resulting in more people supporting responsible wildlands stewardship.
  2. Bring the wilderness community (NGOs/Agencies/International Advocates)"together"to efficiently and consistently steward wilderness for the use, enjoyment, and benefit of the American people
  3. Connect with today's youth and with non-wilderness using groups to find the thread that ties their lives to wild places so they can more directly relate to, understand, and value, wilderness.