50th Anniversary of the Wilderness Act, September 3rd, 2014


After more than sixty drafts created over an eight year period, the Wilderness Act of 1964 was signed into law by then President Lyndon B. Johnson. After signing it he was quoted to have said: “If future generations are to remember us with gratitude rather than contempt, we must leave them a glimpse of the world as it was in the beginning, not just after we got through with it.”

Written principally by Howard Zahniser of the Wilderness Society who steered it through many congressional hearings, it defined wilderness as: “A wilderness, in contrast with those areas where man and his own works dominate the landscape, is hereby recognized 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.”

This document is as significant as any written that attempts to prevent irreversible and everlasting damage to our nation’s natural heritage. Even Lewis & Clark recognized that the country would change forever after their expedition across the Louisiana Territory.

In spite of overwhelming popular support across the country to add approximately 30 candidate areas for designation as Wilderness, the United States Congress remains stagnant and indifferent.

To learn more about the Wilderness Act visit

To learn more about what people are doing to celebrate the Wilderness Act visit