Analysis

September Is National Wilderness Month

5 facts about America’s wilderness

Our National Wilderness Preservation System was established 51 years ago by the Wilderness Act and originally included 9 million acres. Today it encompasses more than 109 million acres across the United States.

Just 5 percent of the country’s landmass is designated as wilderness.

Visitors to wilderness areas can hunt, hike, camp, climb, fish, ride horseback, and paddle.

People riding horses in San Cristobal Canyon 

Riders in San Cristobal Canyon

At 5.5 acres, Florida’s Pelican Island Wilderness is the smallest in the nation.

Pelican Island© USFWS

Pelican Island Wilderness

Forty-four states and Puerto Rico have wilderness areas.

El Toro Wilderness© James Sippel

El Toro Wilderness in Puerto Rico

Let us renew our resolve to protect America's incomparable natural splendor in our time so it can endure as a birthright of every citizen and shape the lives and dreams of generations to come.President Barack Obama, Wilderness Month proclamation, Aug. 31, 2015  http://1.usa.gov/1KpmCEa

5%

Just 5 percent of the country’s landmass is designated as wilderness.

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