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Connecting federal employees, scientists, educators, and the public with their wilderness heritage

Timeline: 1950-2000

The ecologic and economic futures of entire ecosystems became a growing concern during these decades.
"The concept of a wilderness system marked an innovation in the history of the American preservation movement."

—Roderick Nash
Wilderness and the American Mind, 1967
Wilderness Timeline 1950-2000: Shows small pictures that illustrate the following items.
1955 - Sierra Club Executive Director David Brower leads successful opposition to development of Echo Park Dam at Dinosaur N.M.

1962 - Scientist Rachel Carson publishes Silent Spring, stirring public consciousness about pesticides and the environment.

1964 - Authored by Howard Zahniser of the Wilderness Society, the Wilderness Act creates the National Wilderness Preservation System.

1968 - Great Swamp National Wildlife Refuge Wilderness becomes the first FWS wilderness to be added to the NWPS.

1969 - The National Environmental Policy Act is passed, requiring public involvement in land management planning and systematic evaluation of the environmental impacts of proposed projects on public lands.

1970 - Senator Gaylord Nelson founds Earth Day, focusing national attention on the environment.

1970 - Petrified Forest N.P. and Craters of the Moon N.M. become the first NPS sites to include designated wilderness areas.

1975 - The Eastern Wilderness Act is passed, allowing additional lands with wilderness character and potential to be included in the NWPS.

1976 - The Federal Land Policy and Management Act designates the BLM as the fourth federal agency to manage wilderness.

1980 - President Jimmy Carter signed the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act establishing 10 new NPS sites, 9 wildlife refuges, and additional BLM conservation units.

1983 - The Bear Trap Canyon portion of the Lee Metcalf Wilderness is designated, the first wilderness managed by the BLM.

1996 - Grand Staircase-Escalante N.M. is created, the BLM's first national monument, including 1.7 million acres of the most remote wild lands in the lower 48 states.

2000-present