Spotlight On: Interactive Timeline of American Land Protection

Americans' passion for protecting public land dates back more than a century. John Muir began writing about the importance of wildlands in the 1870s, the first wilderness area—the Gila Wilderness in New Mexico—was protected in 1924, and President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the Wilderness Act into law in 1964.

Times have changed, but successful public land conservation still requires citizen outreach, dedicated public and private leadership, political will, and a bipartisan approach. Explore our interactive timeline featuring milestones from America's land protection history.