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.
 

  • Michael Reinemer

    “The Wilderness Society applauds the actions by Senators Martin Heinrich and Tom Udall to introduce and guide the Cerros del Norte Conservation Act forward,“ said Michael Casaus, New Mexico Director with The Wilderness Society in Albuquerque. “Designating these two unique areas contained within the Río Grande del Norte National Monument as official wilderness ensures these wild and diverse landscapes that are so important to local communities receive the government’s highest level of protection.”

  • Michael Reinemer

    The Wilderness Society released the following statement regarding passage of Rep. Mike Simpson’s bill to protect the Boulder-White Cloud mountains out of the U.S. House of Representatives:

  • Michael Reinemer

    The Wilderness Society applauds progress toward reauthorization of the nation’s most important conservation program, the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF), a 50-year-old law that has invested in parks, trails, historic sites, and ball fields in virtually every county in the U.S.