Wilderness Act. The 50th Anniversary

In 1964, the Wilderness Act was signed into law, creating one of America’s greatest conservation achievements and paving the way to provide 109 million acres of unspoiled lands for future generations.

Hiking in Badger Lake Wilderness looking at Mt. Hood Wilderness.

Hiking in Badger Lake Wilderness looking at Mt. Hood Wilderness. Photo: Jurgen Hess

While the word ‘wilderness’ may describe any undeveloped, wild or remote land, the word is defined in specific terms by Congress. Only federal land determined to meet certain standards can become part of the National Wilderness Preservation System–from Wilderness.net:

  • The land must be in natural condition: unnoticeable influence by humans.
  • It must contain above average opportunities for unconfined recreation and solitude.
  • It must be at least 5,000 acres of land.
  • It must contain “ecological, geological, of other features of scientific, educational, scenic, or historical value.”

Securing areas with these qualities provides future generations with places of freedom, solitude and an escape from industrialized society.

While the Wilderness Act has preserved over 750 wilderness areas from Alaska to Florida, there are also benefits to preservation such as habitat for threatened species, clean air, protected watershed, and outstanding natural recreation.


2014 marks the 50th anniversary of this historic achievement in wilderness protection.  Click the links: for more information about the Wilderness Act or The Wilderness Society.


By | 2016-12-13T01:59:34+00:00 March 24th, 2014|Categories: News|0 Comments

About the Author:

Kelsey Alsheimer, raised in Anchorage, Alaska, she graduated from Washington State University with a Bachelor in Communication and a Minor in Fine Arts. While at school, she met her husband to be, Taylor, and they now live in The Dalles, OR. With full time work and play, Kelsey also finds time to chip away at her children’s book, volunteer at the Columbia Gorge Arts Center and contribute to envirogorge.

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