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Encyclopedia > National Wilderness Preservation System

The National Wilderness Preservation System protects federally managed land areas that are of a pristine condition. It was established by the Wilderness Act (Public Law 88-577) upon the signature of President Lyndon B. Johnson on September 3, 1964. The National Wilderness Preservation System originally created hundreds of wilderness zones within already protected federally administered property, consisting of over 9 million acres (36,000 km²). As of 2005, a total of 680 separate wilderness areas, encompassing 105,695,176 acres (427,733 km²) had been set aside. ... President Lyndon Johnson signs the Wilderness Act of 1964 in the White House Rose Garden. ... For the pop band, see Presidents of the United States of America. ... Lyndon Baines Johnson (August 27, 1908 – January 22, 1973), often referred to as LBJ, was the 36th President of the United States (1963–1969). ... September 3 is the 246th day of the year (247th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... 1964 (MCMLXIV) was a leap year starting on Wednesday (the link is to a full 1964 calendar). ... Wilderness is generally defined as a natural environment on Earth that has not been modified by human activity. ... To help compare orders of magnitude of different geographical regions, we list here surface areas between 100,000 km² and 1,000,000 km². See also areas of other orders of magnitude. ...

The Wilderness Act protects exceptional undisturbed natural areas and scenery, such as in the Ansel Adams Wilderness
The Wilderness Act protects exceptional undisturbed natural areas and scenery, such as in the Ansel Adams Wilderness

On federal lands in the United States, Congress may designate a pristine area in the region as wilderness under the provisions of the Wilderness Act of 1964. Wilderness areas are subject to specific management restrictions. Human activities are restricted to non-motorized recreation (such as hunting, fishing, horseback riding, etc.), scientific research, and other non-invasive activities. In general, the law prohibits logging, mining, roads, mechanized vehicles (including bicycles), and other forms of development. The Wilderness Act is the legal basis for the National Wilderness Preservation System (NWPS). Wilderness areas fall in to IUCN protected area management category Ia (Strict Nature Preserves) or Ib (Wilderness areas). Banner Peak, Mount Davis, and 1000 Island Lake in Ansel Adams Wilderness, California, USA I took this photograph Sep 10, 1999. ... Banner Peak, Mount Davis, and 1000 Island Lake in Ansel Adams Wilderness, California, USA I took this photograph Sep 10, 1999. ... The Ansel Adams Wilderness is a wilderness area in the Sierra Nevada of California,USA. The wilderness is part of the Inyo and Sierra National Forests. ... ... The Congress of the United States is the legislative branch of the federal government of the United States of America. ... Wilderness is generally defined as a natural environment on Earth that has not been modified by human activity. ... President Lyndon Johnson signs the Wilderness Act of 1964 in the White House Rose Garden. ... 1964 (MCMLXIV) was a leap year starting on Wednesday (the link is to a full 1964 calendar). ... President Lyndon Johnson signs the Wilderness Act of 1964 in the White House Rose Garden. ... The World Conservation Union or International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN) is an international organization dedicated to natural resource conservation. ...


The National Wilderness Preservation System coordinates the wilderness activities of the four federal agencies - Bureau of Land Management, U.S. Forest Service, National Park Service and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Wilderness areas are parts of national parks, wildlife refuges, national forests, and the public domain and may include land in several different units managed by different agencies. Initially, the NWPS included 34 areas protecting 9.1 million acres (37,000 km²) in the national forests. As of January 2006, there were 680 wilderness areas in the NWPS, preserving 105 million acres (430,000 km²). This is approximately 5% of the entire United States, though only about 2.5% of the 48 contiguous states. Wilderness areas exist in 44 of the 50 states. US BLM logo The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is an agency within the United States Department of the Interior which administers Americas public lands, totaling approximately 261 million surface acres (1,056,229. ... The USDA Forest Service, a United States government agency within the United States Department of Agriculture, is under the leadership of the United States Secretary of Agriculture. ... The National Park Service (NPS) is the United States federal agency that manages all National Parks, many National Monuments, and other conservation and historical properties with various title designations. ... The USFWS logo The United States Fish and Wildlife Service is a unit of the United States Department of the Interior that is dedicated to managing and preserving wildlife. ...


Some state and tribal governments also designate wilderness areas under their own authority and local laws. These are not federal areas and the exact nature of protection may differ from federal laws.


Most U.S. wilderness areas are in National Forests but the largest amount of wilderness land is administered by the National Park Service. The largest contiguous wilderness complex in the United States is the Noatak and Gates of the Arctic Wildernesses in Alaska at 12,743,329 acres (51,570 km²); the largest wilderness area outside Alaska is the Death Valley Wilderness in southeastern California. This article is on national forests in the United States. ... Noatak may refer to: Noatak, Alaska Noatak River This is a disambiguation page — a navigational aid which lists other pages that might otherwise share the same title. ... Arregetch Peaks Gates of the Arctic Wilderness is a wilderness area in Alaska, United States. ... Official language(s) English Capital Juneau Largest city Anchorage Area  Ranked 1st  - Total 663,267 sq mi (1,717,855 km²)  - Width 808 miles (1,300 km)  - Length 1,479 miles (2,380 km)  - % water 13. ...


A special exemption to the "no mechanized equipment" rule is made for wilderness areas in Alaska: limited use of motorized vehicles and construction of cabins and aquaculture are permitted [1]. These exemptions were allowed due to the large amount of wilderness in Alaska and the concerns of subsistence users, including Alaska Natives. Alaska Natives are indigenous peoples who live in what is now the U.S. state of Alaska. ...


The newest wilderness area is the Cedar Mountain Wilderness in Utah, designated in January 2006. The Cedar Mountain Wilderness is located in northwestern Utah, USA, just south of Interstate 80. ... To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article or section may require cleanup. ...


See also

Four federal agencies of the United States government administer the U.S. Wilderness Areas, which includes 680 wilderness areas and 105,695,176 acres (427,733 km²). These agencies are: United States Forest Service United States National Park Service United States Bureau of Land Management United States Fish and Wildlife... List of wilderness areas designated by U.S. state and tribal governments. ...

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