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WASHINGTON, D.C. 20240-0036
March 25, 2014
In Reply Refer To:
6300 (WO-400) P
Information Bulletin No. 2014-048

To:                  Executive Leadership Team

From:              Principal Deputy Director                       

Subject:          The 50th Anniversary of the Wilderness Act

This year our nation celebrates the 50th anniversary of the Wilderness Act.  The BLM has built a rich culture of wilderness stewardship. managing 221 wilderness areas comprising 8.6 million acres in 10 western states.  We also manage more than 540 Wilderness Study Areas.  The BLM is part of the National Wilderness Planning Team (Wilderness50), a coalition of more than 20 organizations including our sister land management agencies, universities and wilderness-related non-profit organizations. As part of the 50th Anniversary, Wilderness50 is working to organize activities and events to celebrate the Nation’s wilderness system in the months leading up to the Wilderness Act’s anniversary—September 3, 2014.

To fulfill this commitment, the wilderness leads in each state have formed teams to assist with local event planning. Our goal is to educate our citizens, especially our youth, about the vital role these National Conservation Lands play in providing us with clean air and water, critical wildlife habitat, outstanding opportunities for recreation, and spiritual renewal and regeneration.  I encourage each of you to support the participation of your employees on these teams and to ensure that our events are planned in cooperation with Wilderness50 and our wilderness stewardship partners.

The National Conservation Lands Wilderness Program Team has also engaged the public affairs staff here in DC to develop a communications plan, identify key deliverables, and produce products and tools that will help our employees engage with each other and with local communities in celebrating this anniversary. I have attached a current summary of the events each state is planning. I applaud your efforts thus far and challenge you and your staff to continue to explore innovative ways to commemorate this important event.

The 15-Year National Landscape Conservation System Strategic Plan should help guide you in these efforts. Please think about using our events to focus attention both internally and externally on the way that wilderness is helping us to:

  • Move toward landscape-level planning and management,
  • Provide off-site mitigation,
  • Address the impacts of climate change, and
  • Promote shared stewardship of our public lands

Ensuring that our grandchildren will be able to celebrate the centennial of the Wilderness Act requires us not only to maintain our ongoing, dedicated efforts to managing the public lands but also to build grassroots support where ever we do our work. Working with our partners to plan local community events will help ensure that the BLM raises public awareness of wilderness values in the communities where we all live.


Signed by:                                                         Authenticated by:
Neil Kornze                                                        Robert M. Williams

Principal Deputy Director                                   Division of IRM Governance, WO-560

1 Attachment

      1 - BLM Participation in Celebrating the 50th Anniversary of the Wilderness Act (4 pp)


Last updated: 04-07-2014