Wilderness Acreages: An explanation of different types of acreage valuesLegislated Acreages
Acreage shown is taken directly from wilderness legislation. This value is the initial acreage estimate that is usually determined in the mark-up committee and staff that write the legislative text and create the wilderness boundary legal descriptions. In the past, these totals were estimated by using graphic tools such as dot grids or by adding Public Land Survey sections and fractional sections to estimate the initial acreage. This is a valid acreage estimate pending final boundary adjustment. Boundary adjustments involve land exchanges and inholdings that are resolved before the final Map of Record is filed.
Typical wilderness legislation wording regarding mapping: As soon as practicable after the date of enactment of this Act, the appropriate Secretary shall file a map and a boundary description of each area designated as wilderness by this Act with the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources of the United States Senate and the Committee on Natural Resources of the United States House of Representatives. Each map and description shall have the same force and effect as if included in this Act, except that the appropriate Secretary is authorized to correct clerical and typographical errors in such boundary descriptions and maps.
Responsibility for reporting wilderness acreage by each agency resides in the Lands or Realty divisions. This is often in the form of an annual lands report. The administering agency determines acreage by verifying changes that result from realignment of boundaries. Inholdings may or may not be excluded from acreage estimates (Forest Service acreage figures do not include inholdings). Once final boundary adjustments have been made and the final Map of Record has been filed, accurate computation of wilderness acreage is possible through Geographic Information System (GIS) procedures.