The United States Congress designated the Rocks and Islands Wilderness (map
) in 2006 and it now has a total of 6 acres
(5.89 acres, technically).
All of this wilderness is located in California
and is managed by the Bureau of Land Management.
The California coastal Rocks and Islands Wilderness protects critical components of a unique area of California coastline. Although one of the smallest wildernesses in the system at 5.89 acres, it encompasses 584 rocks, islands, exposed reefs, and pinnacles spread out over miles along a section of California's northern coast, now protected as the King Range Wilderness. The largest rock is .58 acres while the smallest rocks are less than 1 sq. ft. in size. These various rocks and islands are home to a diverse ecosystem of birds and sea mammals. The coastal rocks and islands comprise a narrow flight lane in the Pacific flyway, providing protected nest sites as well as feeding and perching areas for millions of seabirds. This unique ecosystem is also important for the continued survival of endangered or threatened sea mammals, such as Steller sea lions and elephant seals.