“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… an area of undeveloped Federal land retaining its primeval character and influence… protected and managed so as to preserve its natural conditions..”
Wilderness Act of 1964 – Section 2(c)
In 1964, the U.S. Congress approved the permanent protection of our most pristine lands for public enjoyment and preservation with the creation of the National Wilderness Preservation System. Almost 50 years later, over 109,500,000 acres of public land in the United States has received this highest level of protection in 757 individual wildernesses, including 215,000 acres (22%) of the Stanislaus National Forest.
AMERICA'S WILDERNESS - A SHORT VIDEO IN HONOR OF THE WILDERNESS ACT OF 1964.
The Carson-Iceberg, Emigrant, and Mokelumne Wildernesses offer outstanding hiking, backpacking, and horseback riding opportunities in a natural setting largely undisturbed by modern development. Each year, over 40,000 people visit Stanislaus wilderness areas. Although any single person may not leave much of a mark on wilderness, the cumulative impact of tens of thousands of visits can cause serious degradation of this national resource. To help preserve the wild character of these places, the Forest Service enforces Wilderness Permits & Regulations and strongly recommends that all visitors follow simple Leave-No-Trace methods.
In 2014, the nation will celebrate the 50th Anniversaryof the passage of the Wilderness Act. Even after a half-century of legal protection, wildernesses need your help more than ever. Consider working with other dedicated Wilderness Volunteers to help preserve these unique and wild places for future generations.
*"untrammeled" means unrestrained, wild, free and not manipulated by humans.