You wouldn’t think the word wilderness needed a legal definition, but it did. And in 1964 this became it as far as the U.S. government is concerned.
“A wilderness, in contrast with those areas where man and his own works dominate the landscape, is hereby recognized as an area where the earth and its community of life are untrammeled by man, where man himself is a visitor who does not remain.”
This year marks the 50th anniversary of the Wilderness Act. When it was signed into law by President Johnson on September 3 of that year it created the National Wilderness Preservation System and set aside 9.1 million acres of land. Today that average has increased to 109.5 million acres throughout 44 states and Puerto Rico – some five percent of the land in the U.S.
And if you haven’t visited one of these drop-dead gorgeous places, now is a good time to start. CNN has some enticing photos that will make you want to pack your hiking boots and commune with nature.