Wilderness Frequently Asked Questions
Wilderness areas are special places where the earth and its community of life are essentially undisturbed. They retain a primeval character, without permanent improvements and generally appear to have been affected primarily by the forces of nature. The Bureau of Land Management is responsible for 222 Wilderness Areas with 8.6 million acres in 10 Western States (3 percent of BLM's total acreage in the contiguous United States).
Help to preserve your wilderness areas by following these guidelines offered by the nonprofit organization Leave No Trace.
Why were Wilderness Areas designated?
In 1964, Congress established the National Wilderness Preservation System and designated the first Wilderness Areas in passing the Wilderness Act. These areas of undeveloped federal land retain their primeval character without permanent improvement or human habitation and are managed to preserve their natural conditions. They offer outstanding opportunities for solitude and may contain ecological, geological or other scientific, scenic or historical values.
What Wilderness Areas are in New Mexico
There are five Wilderness managed by the BLM in New Mexico:
|The 41,170-acre Bisti/De-Na-Zin Wilderness is a remote desolate area of steeply eroded badlands which offers some of the most unusual scenery found in the Four Corners region. Time and natural elements have etched a fantasy world of strange rock formations and fossils.|
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|BLM's Cebolla Wilderness, located within the El Malpais National Conservation Area, includes 61,600 acres of rimrock country east of NM 117. Sanstone mesas, canyons and grassy valleys characterize the area. The Mesas and canyons are clad with juniper, piñon, and ponderosa pine. Vertical escarpments provide excellent nesting habitat for golden eagles, prairie falcons, red-tail hawks, and great horned owls.|
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|An hour northwest of Albuquerque is the Ojito Wilderness, a high desert landscape of wide open spaces and exceptional beauty. This area of steep-sided mesas, remote box canyons, meandering arroyos, and austere badlands offers solitude, tranquility, and escape from the congestion of the city. The Ojito Wilderness Act of 2005 permanently protects over 11,000 acres of scenic wilderness as a promise to the future that there will always be places to find beauty and renewal.|
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|The 16,030-acre Sabinoso Wilderness is a remote area in the northeastern portion of New Mexico. The Wilderness includes a series of high, narrow mesas surrounded by cliff-lined canyons.|
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|BLM’s West Malpais Wilderness, located within the El Malpais National Conservation Area, includes 39,540 acres. It encompasses grassland, pinon-juniper woodland, ponderosa pine parkland, and basalt lava fields. |