The Bureau of Land Management in California manages 69 Wilderness Study Areas encompassing 1.4 million acres.  Wilderness Study Areas in California provide diverse habitats from desert landscapes, grasslands, and arid alpine mountains to coastal temperate forests.  

These lands are managed to protect present conditions and provide habitats for a variety of plant and animal threatened and endangered species. The Wilderness Study Areas currently provide crucial connecting corridors for migratory species from other wilderness areas.

BLM California will continue to monitor and protect Wilderness Study Areas until Congress decides whether to designate them as wilderness or to manage them for other purposes.

Featured Wilderness Study Area: Slinkard WSA

A photo of the sun shining on mountains and flowers within Slinkard Wilderness Study Area in California. Photo by Bob Wick.

The Slinkard Wilderness Study Area is a large natural area located just south of Monitor Pass.  The higher peaks offer vast panoramas stretching from California's Eastern Sierra into rows of Basin and range peaks in Nevada. The mountains here have two different personas; they are rugged and steep on the east face and gentle on the west face.  The lower elevations are covered in big sagebrush, bitterbrush, and perennial grasses, while the higher elevations are home to pinyon pine, juniper and mountain mahogany.  White fir, Jeffery pine and a maze of white-trunked trembling aspen grow along the drainages. 

BLM California Wilderness Study Areas

A complete list of the BLM California wilderness study areas is below:

  • Avawatz Mountain
  • Bear Canyon Rare II Contiguous
  • Bear Mountain Rare II Contiguous
  • Big Butte
  • Bitterbrush
  • Black Mountain
  • Bodie
  • Bodie Mountain
  • Buffalo Hills
  • Cady Mountains
  • Caliente Mountain
  • Carrizo Gorge
  • Carson-Iceberg
  • Casa Diablo
  • Cerro Gordo
  • Chidago Canyon
  • Crater Mountain
  • Death Valley-17
  • Dry Valley Rim
  • Eden Valley
  • Excelsior
  • Fish Slough
  • Five Springs
  • Garcia Mountains
  • Great Falls Basin
  • Hauser Mountain
  • Independence Creek
  • King Range
  • Kingston Range
  • Lava
  • Machesna
  • Masonic Mountain
  • Massacre Rim
  • Merced River
  • Milk Ranch/ Case Mountain
  • Moses
  • Mount Biedeman
  • Owens Peak
  • Panoche Hills North
  • Panoche Hills South
  • Pinto Mountains
  • Pit River Canyon
  • Piute Cypress ISA
  • Poodle Mountains
  • Rockhouse
  • Rocky Creek-Cache Creek
  • Sacatar Meadows
  • San Benito Mountain
  • San Felipe Hills
  • San Ysidro Mountain
  • Sawtooth Mountains A
  • Sawtooth Mountains C
  • Scodie
  • Sheep Ridge
  • Sheldon Contiguous
  • Skedaddle
  • Slinkard
  • Soda Mountains
  • South Warner Contiguous
  • Southern Inyo
  • Symmes Creek
  • Table Mountain
  • Thatcher Ridge
  • Timbered Crater
  • Tule Mountain
  • Tunnison Mountain
  • Twin Peaks
  • Volcanic Tablelands
  • Wall Canyon
  • White Mountains
  • Yolla Bolly Contiguous