Wilderness Act was passed by Congress in 1964 to ensure that population
growth and development did not alter all of the Nation's lands. The Wilderness
Act established the National Wilderness Preservation System, which is
composed of federally-owned areas designated by Congress as wilderness.
The California Desert Protection Act of 1994 is one of the largest pieces
of wilderness legislation ever passed by Congress. Signed into law by
President Clinton, the Act preserves the unrivaled values which portray
the Old West and remain essentially unaltered by human activity.
The Bureau of Land Management has responsibility for 9.5 million acres
of public lands in the southern California Desert. The California Desert
Protection Act gives special wilderness designation to 69 individual BLM
areas covering 3.6 million acres. Eighteen of those areas are partly or
completely within the boundary of BLM's Needles Resource Area. Wilderness
within the Resource Area totals more than 1.3 million acres. Below is
a list of those areas.