History

The Wilderness Society has been at the forefront of nearly every major public lands victory since 1935.

We have led the effort to protect permanently nearly 110 million acres of wilderness in 44 states.  From the revolutionary 1964 Wilderness Act to the landmark 2009 bill that protected more than two million acres of wilderness across the country, The Wilderness Society has helped preserve public wild lands, including:

  • Rich hardwood forests in the East
  • Stunning deserts in the Southwest
  • Snowcapped peaks in the Rockies
  • Old-growth forests in the Pacific Northwest
  • Tundra in Alaska

The Wilderness Society remains true to our founders’ principles and dedicated to the concept that careful, credible science, bold advocacy and unswerving vision are essential underpinnings of wilderness conservation policy.

Wilderness Timeline

Since its founding in 1935, The Wilderness Society has helped to form the cornerstone of the movement to save America’s vanishing wilderness. 

Wilderness Act

The Wilderness Society was instrumental in passing the Wilderness Act of 1964. The act defines wilderness and provides for its legislative protection in the National Wilderness Preservation System.

Famous Quotes

The words of our founders and other conservation pioneers, as well as modern day activists and wilderness lovers, capture the ongoing struggle to protect our public wild lands.

Awards

Learn about The Ansel Adams Award and The Robert Marshall Award and see past recepients.
 

  • Some of the most important climate and energy achievements of the last eight years—including many that were Wilderness Society priorities—will be on the chopping block the moment President-elect Trump settles into the Oval Office. It will be more important than ever to stand up and let our lawmakers know what is important to us.

  • Thank you to the tens of thousands of you who responded to our requests to sign your name to a letter urging the administration to take this step. This is your victory!

  • Trump has picked a leading climate denier, Myron Ebell, to lead the transition team at the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Ebell is also said to be in contention to head the agency itself. On the campaign trail, Trump said he may "cut" the EPA, but giving Ebell any authority over it may be just as bad.