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50 Years of the Ultimate Protection: Happy Birthday, Wilderness Act

Arizona Highways

Shannon Hastings | Red Rock-Secret Mountain Wilderness Shannon Hastings | Red Rock-Secret Mountain Wilderness

Fifty years ago today, President Lyndon Johnson signed the Wilderness Act into law, protecting the United States’ unspoiled wilderness areas from human encroachment.

Today, we celebrate that landmark law with answers to some wilderness-related questions, courtesy of our friends at the National Park Service:

What is wilderness?
The Wilderness Act, signed into law in 1964, created the National Wilderness Preservation System and recognized wilderness 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.” The Act further defined wilderness as “an area of undeveloped Federal land retaining its primeval character and influence without permanent improvements or human habitation, which is protected and managed so as to preserve its natural conditions . . . .”

Congress has now designated more than 106 million acres of federal public lands as…

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