NOLS: National Outdoor Leadership School Home

 

Spring 2004 Issue
    Cover Article
    Message from the Director
    Alumni Trailblazers
    Alumni Profile
    Alumni Trip Journal
    30 Years of the Cookery
    Wild Side of Medicine
    NOLS Expands College Credit Program
    Confessions of a Yukon Greenhorn
    Belay Off
   
Wilderness Facts
Leaders in Wilderness Preservation
Tebenkof Bay
Tribute to a True Wilderness Leader
Paddling at the Edge of the World
Alaskan Rain & the Rivine River
Rising
The Way It Was…
Leader Archives
  Address Update Form

Donate to NOLS

Contact Us


Leaders in Wilderness Preservation: A History of the Wilderness Act
By Heidi Weber, NOLS Public Policy Intern

The 1964 Wilderness Act established the National Wilderness Preservation System to acknowledge, protect, and manage designated wilderness, and to create a process whereby Congress could designate and protect additional public land as “Wilderness.”

One of the first leaders of preservation was John Muir (1838-1914), who was the founder and first president of the Sierra Club. Through his writings, wanderings and activism, he contributed to the protection of many of our National Parks.

Aldo Leopold (1887-1948) was inspired by Muir. In 1924, prior to the signing of the Act, Leopold prompted the USDA Forest Service to recognize 574,000 acres of the Gila National Forest in New Mexico as “Wilderness.” This was the first area to be recognized as such in the United States. In 1935, Leopold partnered with Bob Marshall (1901-1939) to create The Wilderness Society, and it was Marshall’s intent that America’s wilderness be protected by federal law.

Several years after Marshall’s untimely death, Howard Zahniser (1906-1964) filled Marshall’s void and became the executive director of the Wilderness Society in 1945, which consisted of a staff of two.

By 1956, Zahniser had drafted a bill to protect America’s wilderness. In that same year, the bill was introduced into the Senate. After eight years of debate and 66 bill revisions, President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the Wilderness Act into law on September 3, 1964.

If you're not getting The Leader in the mail and you want to, click here.

Chat:
Chat with a real person.
Share:

Sign up for the NOLSie News
NOLS Top of Page
NOLS Home About Us Courses Wilderness Medicine Institute NOLS Professional Training Alumni Store Donate Account NOLS Home Parents Press Room School Resources Photos NOLS.TV Events WRMC The NOLS Blog Introduction About Leadership History Mission & Values Profiles Partnerships Frequent Questions Find a Course School Locations Skills Leave No Trace Financial Aid Academic Credit NOLS Pro Home 1-3 Day Courses 7-30 Day Courses Risk Management Staff Clients Design Your Course Contact NOLS Pro NOLS Pro 1-3 Days 7-30 Days Risk Management Clients Contact Us NOLS Pro Design Your Course NOLS Pro Staff Overview Outcome-based Curriculum Faculty Overview Outcome-based Curriculum Faculty Case Studies Overview Administrative Training Staff Training Consulting Conference: WRMC How to Apply Apply Online Download an Application Admission Policies WMI Home About WMI Courses Schedule FAQ Photos & Movies Curriculum Updates Employment Sponsors WMI Home About WMI Admissions Courses Schedule Host a Course Resources Gallery Alumni Home Trips and Events The Leader Alumni Chapters Employment Staying in Touch Volunteer Photos & Videos Home NOLS Photos NOLS.TV The NOLS Podcast NOLS on Flickr Leave No Trace Overview Leave No Trace Principles Leave No Trace Master Educator Course Host a Course Contact Enroll Map of Events Dream Expedition Leadership Week Press Room Images for the Press Archives