36. How Many Acres Are Currently Protected By A “wilderness”

According to the Wilderness Act that was passed in 1964, Congress has designated a total of 111 million acres of federal wildlands as official wilderness areas. As of 2023, there are 806 designated wilderness areas, which make up approximately 4.5% of the total land area. Wilderness designation is a way for Congress to protect selected portions of national forests, parks, wildlife refuges, and other public lands. This designation recognizes these areas as places where the natural landscape takes precedence over human development. When the Wilderness Act was first passed, there were 54 designated wilderness areas, covering 9.1 million acres in 13 states. Now, the National Wilderness Preservation System protects over 111 million acres of federal public land, including 56.4 million acres designated through the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act. The first officially designated wilderness area was the Gila National Forest in New Mexico, which set a precedent for future wilderness designations. Currently managed by the National Park Service, the National Wilderness Preservation System serves to protect and preserve the natural beauty of these designated areas.

As of the latest information, the Wilderness Act has resulted in the protection of approximately 111 million acres under its "Wilderness" designation. These federally designated wilderness areas are recognized for their preservation of natural conditions and their unspoiled and undeveloped character.

Washington Wild Celebrating the 39th Anniversary of the Washington ...Colorado lawmakers look to designate 1 million acres as wilderness

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