In 1964, the Congress of the United States took a far-sighted action by passing the Wilderness Act, legally designating certain federal lands as Wilderness. Congress preserved these lands: “…in order to assure that an increasing population, accompanied by expanding settlement and growing mechanization does not occupy and modify all areas within the United States and its possessions, leaving no lands designated for preservation and protection in their natural condition”. The Wilderness Act prohibits roads, mining, timber cutting and motorized vehicles in these areas.
Values and Benefits of Wilderness
Wilderness has many values. Recognizing these diverse and unique values opens a world of understanding about the natural environment. Preserving Wilderness may someday be seen through eyes of historians as the most important contribution societies can make to the health of the global environment.
50th Anniversary of the Wilderness Act Signing
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. A national website has been dedicated to the 50th anniversary of the Wilderness Act, www.wilderness50th.org.
Wilderness Information Map
The Regional Wilderness Information Map below shows the boundaries of the five states within the Rocky Mountain Region. To view wilderness information, move your cursor over a state you are interested in. When the cursor is over a state, a filled-in map outline and tool tip will appear. Once you are on top of the state you want, click the cursor on the green map outline and a link will open to that state's Wilderness Information page. Once you are redirected to the state map, you will then be able to select the individual wilderness that you would like information about.