What a wonderful celebration! The pinnacle conservation bill that protected 9.1 million acres of land is turning 50-years-old this year. Signed in 1964, congress passed this act to create a system for Americans to protect lands for their children, grandchildren, and future generations to come. In history, it is considered one of conservation’s greatest achievements.
Because of the Wilderness Act, no development (roads, vehicles, buildings) are allowed in designated wilderness. It also ensured the lands were protected with the National Wilderness Preservation System.
Particularly in North Carolina, the legislation started the process of passing the North Carolina Wilderness Act, which was signed in 1984. This protected about 95,000 acres of state wilderness.
To learn more, click here and listen to WUNC’s interview with Dr. Robert Cox, former president of the Sierra Club who was key in the act’s passage.
We look forward to the next 50 years of wilderness!