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Wilderness Areas in the Southwest

Wilderness Areas in the Southwest

According to Wikipedia, the list of wilderness areas:

The National Wilderness Preservation System includes 803 Wilderness Areas protecting 111,368,221 acres of federal land as of 2019. They are managed by four agencies:

    1. United States Forest Service – The Department of Agriculture, the U.S. Forest Service oversees 36,160,078 acres of wilderness areas in 447 areas.
    2. United States National Park Service (NPS) – The NPS has oversight of 43,890,500 acres of wilderness at 61 locations.
    3. United States Bureau of Land Management (BLM) – The BLM oversees 8,726,011 acres at 224 unique sites.
    4. United States Fish and Wildlife Service – The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has responsibility for 20,702,350 acres in 71 areas.

These wilderness areas cover about 4.5% of the United States’ land area, an area larger than the state of California. About 52% of the wilderness area is in Alaska, with 57,425,569 acres of wilderness. They are located in 44 states (excepting Connecticut, Delaware, Iowa, Kansas, Maryland, Rhode Island) and Puerto Rico.

Some wilderness areas are managed by multiple agencies, so the above totals exceed the actual number of units in the system.

Some areas are designated wilderness by state or tribal governments. These are not governed by the Federal National Wilderness Preservation System.

This table lists all U.S. areas that have been designated by the United States Congress under the Wilderness Act. The listed designation date is the date that the wilderness was signed into law. Some areas have been expanded or otherwise changed since the original designation date.

What is a Wilderness Area

Wilderness or wildlands (usually in the plural), are natural environments on Earth that have not been significantly modified by human activity or any nonurbanized land not under extensive agricultural cultivation. The term has traditionally referred to terrestrial environments, though growing attention is being placed on marine wilderness. Recent maps of the wilderness suggest it covers roughly one-quarter of Earth’s terrestrial surface but is being rapidly degraded by human activity. Even less wilderness remains in the ocean, with only 13.2% free from intense human activity.

Some governments establish protection for wilderness areas by law to not only preserve what already exists but also to promote and advance a natural expression and development. These can be set up in preserves, conservation preserves, national forests, national parks, and even in urban areas along rivers, gulches, or otherwise undeveloped areas. Often these areas are considered important for the survival of certain species, biodiversity, ecological studies, conservation, solitude, and recreation. They may also preserve historic genetic traits and provide habitat for wild flora and fauna that may be difficult to recreate in zoos, arboretums, or laboratories.

How Many Wilderness Areas Are There in the United States

The National Wilderness Preservation System includes 803 Wilderness Areas protecting 111,368,221 acres of federal land as of 2019.

Nevada Wilderness Areas

Nevada is home to 69 wilderness areas covering over 3.4 million acres and over 5,300 square miles.

Click here to learn more about the wilderness areas located in Nevada.

Wilderness Areas in the Southwest