Needles Field Office - Wilderness Areas

Photo of Turtle Mountains Wilderness

Wilderness is a natural preserve with outstanding opportunities for solitude and unconfined primitive experience. Wilderness is a place to enjoy where ecological, geological and other features of scientific, scenic, educational and historical value are protected and their character retained.

The 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.

Wilderness Areas

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