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.
 

  • Neil Shader

    New legislation introduced today in the House and the Senate would undermine state and federal planning efforts, nearly complete, to conserve the greater sage grouse and perpetuate uncertainty faced by all westerners, according to The Wilderness Society. The following statement can be attributed to Chase Huntley, senior government relations director for The Wilderness Society.

  • Neil Shader

    Authorization for LWCF runs out on September 30 2015.

    Today, Earth Day, the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee will hold a hearing on “reauthorization and potential reforms” to LWCF. Funded primarily by offshore oil royalties—not taxpayer dollars—the program has had strong bipartisan support since its enactment in 1964. The Wilderness Society strongly supports several bills to reauthorize LWCF including S. 890, S. 338 and H.R. 1814, now pending in Congress.

  • Neil Shader

    Proactive, cooperative conservation measures could be a model for protections across the West

    The following statement can be attributed to Nada Culver, senior director of agency policy and planning for The Wilderness Society, regarding the Department of Interior’s decision to not add the bi-state greater sage grouse population to the Endangered Species List.