Lands with Wilderness Characteristics

For an area to qualify as lands with wilderness characteristics, it must possess sufficient size, naturalness, and outstanding opportunities for either solitude or primitive and unconfined recreation. It may also possess supplemental values.

Section 201 of Federal Land Policy and Management Act (FLPMA) requires the BLM to maintain an inventory of all public lands and their resources and other values, which includes wilderness characteristics. It states that the preparation and maintenance of the inventory shall not, of itself, change or prevent change of the management or use of public lands. Lands with wilderness characteristics are inventoried separately from designated Wilderness or wilderness study areas (WSAs). 

The BLM uses the land use planning process to determine how to manage lands with wilderness characteristics as part of the agency's multiple-use mandate. During planning, the BLM will analyze the effects of :

  • Plan alternatives on lands with wilderness characteristics, and
  • Management of lands with wilderness characteristics on other resources and resource uses. 

Contact your local office for a recent state inventory of lands with wilderness characteristics.