Wilderness areas are managed to preserve four main qualities:
- Untrammeled – Wilderness is essentially unhindered and free from modern human control or manipulation.
- Natural – Wilderness retains its primeval character and influence; and ecological systems are substantially free from the effects of modern civilization.
- Undeveloped – Wilderness is essentially without permanent improvement or modern human occupation.
- Solitude or Primitive and Unconfined Recreation – Wilderness provides outstanding opportunities for solitude or primitive and unconfined recreation.
Wilderness attracts many people as a place to experience and enjoy primitive recreation. Some of the primitive activities that take place include:
|• Hiking||• Hunting||• Camping||• Horseback riding|
|• Photography||• Fishing||• Skiing||• Snowshoeing|
|• River running||• Bird watching||• Climbing||• Stock packing|
|• Canoeing||• Sightseeing||• Caving||• Orienteering|
Some people derive benefit from just knowing that protection of these areas is occurring even though they may never visit themselves. Some take once-in-a-lifetime trips that deeply affect them, some are regular visitors who routinely refresh themselves in wilderness.
Numerous non-recreational benefits are associated with wilderness. Wildlife and plant communities find high quality habitat within wilderness. Wilderness designations also provide for natural processes, including natural disturbances like fire, which are important to wildlife and plant communities. Wilderness areas are sources of clean water and air. Wilderness also provides opportunities for establishing a benchmark of undisturbed land with which to make scientific comparison.
Help to preserve your wilderness areas by following these guidelines offered by the nonprofit organization Leave No Trace.
Certain activities are prohibited in wilderness, though exceptions to those prohibitions exist. The prohibitions are:
|• Commercial use||• Motor vehicles||• Roads |
(permanent and temporary)
|• Motorboats||• Landing of aircraft||• Mechanical transport|
|• Motorized equipment||• Structures||• Installations|
Managing land as wilderness is one of BLM’s multiple uses. Not only is wilderness a part of the spectrum of multiple use, but within wilderness are a variety of multiple uses that may occur. You may encounter the following uses in wilderness:
- Restoration projects to maintain soil and water quality;
- Wildlife habitat restoration projects;
- Livestock grazing and related facilities;
- Mineral activities (where they existed prior to designation),
- Access provisions for private inholdings,
- Commercial guiding services,
- Law enforcement activities,
- Study of cultural or paleontological resources, or
- Wild horses and burros
There are five Wilderness areas managed by the BLM in New Mexico: Bisti/De-Na-Zin Wilderness, Cebolla Wilderness, Ojito Wilderness, Sabinoso Wilderness, and West Malpais Wilderness.