Wilderness Study Areas Frequently Asked Questions
Wilderness Study Areas (WSAs) are roadless areas that have been inventoried and found to have wilderness characteristics as described in the Federal Land Policy and Management Act (FLPMA) and the Wilderness Act of 1964. FLPMA directed the BLM to identify its roadless areas and study them for their suitability for preservation as Wilderness. At the end of the study, BLM was required to provide a recommendation as to the suitability or non-suitability of each of those areas. The study of BLM lands in New Mexico was completed and a recommendation provided in September of 1991. WSAs are managed so as not to impair their suitability for preservation as wilderness until Congress decides to permanently protect them as Wilderness, or release them from WSA status to non-wilderness uses. For more on WSAs, see: www.blm.gov/nlcs/wsa/faq.htm
Following is a list of the 57 BLM-managed WSAs in New Mexico, totaling 958,751 acres. Contact the individual Field Offices for additional information about these WSAs.