Introduction to wilderness (Alt + 1)
What is wilderness? (Alt + 2)
Where is wilderness? (Alt + 3)
Why do we choose to protect wilderness? (Alt + 4)
How is wilderness managed? (Alt + 5)
Who is connected to wilderness? (Alt + 6)
Wilderness up close (Alt + 7)
Wilderness and You (Alt + 8)
The Wilderness Act
Preserved values and resources
Landmark legislation
Help and Information Center (Alt + H)
Return to Wilderness Main Index (Alt + I)
Return to Views Visitor Center (Alt + V)
Glossary (Alt + G)
Text-only Page (Alt +T)
Teacher Resource Center for Wilderness (Alt + R)

Wilderness is the land that was—a wild land beyond the frontier, land that shaped the growth of our nation and the character of its people. Wilderness is the land that is—rare, wild places where we can leave civilization; reconnect with the Earth; and find healing, meaning, and significance.

People have held various perspectives of wilderness throughout history. During European settlement of America, wilderness was something to be feared. One settler in the early 1600s stated, "Wilderness is a dark and dismal place where all manner of wild beasts dash about uncooked." Three centuries later, an American author stated, "[wilderness] is the ultimate source of health—terrestrial and human."

Today, people still perceive wilderness in many ways. While some people think that wilderness is a forested backyard or a park down the street, Congress defines wilderness as much more than

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