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Lands With Wilderness Characteristics

The BLM Montana/Dakotas is revising its Lands With Wilderness Characteristics (LWC) Inventories in several areas. Federal Law requires that resource inventories on public lands be maintained, including land with wilderness characteristics. These lands typically have one or many the following characteristics. 

  • Size - The area must be over 5,000 acres of roadless, contiguous BLM-managed lands. Areas smaller than 5,000 acres may qualify if it is practical to preserve and use them without damaging their current condition. In addition, roadless areas less than 5,000 acres that are connecting with lands that have been formally determined to have wilderness or potential wilderness values, or any federal lands already managed for the protection of wilderness characteristics (e.g. Wilderness Areas or Study Areas) may also qualify.
  • Naturalness - Must appear to have been affected primarily by the forces of nature and any work of human beings in the area must be substantially unnoticeable. Minor human impacts such as a water trough or fences may often be considered substantially unnoticeable.

  • Opportunities for Solitude or Primitive, Unconfined Recreation - The area must offer a visitor the chance to avoid evidence of other people or provide for outstanding opportunities for primitive and an unconfined type of  recreation activity like hiking, fishing, etc. Solitude or outstanding primitive recreation opportunities do not have to be available in all portions of the area.  An area may possess outstanding opportunities through either the diversity of possible recreation opportunities in the area or the outstanding quality of one opportunity.
  • Supplemental Values - If size, naturalness, and outstanding opportunities criteria are met, then ecological, geological, or other features of scientific, educational, scenic, or historical values must be considered, but are not required to qualify as lands with wilderness characteristics.

For more information about Lands with Wilderness Characteristics download the LWC Fact Sheet. You can also use the map below and links on the right to access the findings on different LWC lands


LWC Links

Billings Field Office

HiLine District

Havre Field Office
Malta Field Office North
Malta Field Office South
Glasgow Field Office North
Glasgow Field Office South

Miles City Field Office

Miles City FO North
Miles City FO South

South Dakota Field Office