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Connecting federal employees, scientists, educators, and the public with their wilderness heritage
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Data Disclaimer for Databases, Maps, and Published Information

The Federal laws that established individual wilderness units, beginning with the Wilderness Act of 1964 and including all subsequent wilderness legislation, are the legally correct source for the wilderness names, locations, original acreages, and dates of designation. The collection of this data within Wilderness Connect's National Wilderness Preservation System database began with the following publication, which compiled the legislated acres for all designated wilderness areas in the late 1990s: Landres, Peter; Meyer, Shannon. 2000. National Wilderness Preservation System database: key attributes and trends, 1964 through 1999. Gen. Tech. Rep. RMRS-GTR-18-Revised Edition. Ogden, UT: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Rocky Mountain Research Station. 97 p. Download this publication. Current reported acreage figures are the sum of administrative unit acreages reported by the wilderness management agency or agencies. Acreage figures for total state land area and Federal Government owned land, used in some charts, are taken from U.S. General Services Administration, Overview of the United States Government's Owned and Leased Real Property: Federal Real Property Profile as of September 30, 2003. See Table 16, GSA website at [ Report FY2003-R4_R2M-n11_0Z5RDZ-i34K-pR.pdf], visited January 30, 2009. The data do not include trust properties. Total land area for Puerto Rico is taken from the U.S. Census Bureau's Geographic Areas Reference Manual, chapter 7, page 8. Subsequent data updates are received annually from each wilderness management agency's lands/realty office. Data last updated on 2/20/19 (acreages updated to be consistent with the Forest Service 2018 Land Area Report).

Wilderness Connect's GIS-based map overlays legislatively designated wilderness boundaries on baselayers from ESRI's ArcGIS online library. Similarly, Wilderness Connect's wilderness storymap overlays official wilderness boundaries on a variety of other layers to illustrate the benefits of wilderness through geography. Boundary updates to wilderness boundaries are obtained annually from the wilderness management agencies. Boundary names containing "(Draft boundary)" have not been finalized and are not official. Different wildernesses treat inholdings differently, so you should consult agency-specific maps to identify the exact location of private inholdings within wilderness. Wilderness Connect manages these maps and the National Wilderness Preservation System boundaries as a public service to users of digital geographic data. Wilderness Connect is in no way condoning or endorsing the application of these data for any given purpose. It is the sole responsibility of the user to determine whether or not the data are suitable for the intended purpose. It is also the obligation of the user to apply those data in an appropriate and conscientious manner. Although Wilderness Connect attempts to use the most current and complete geospatial data available, accuracy varies. Wilderness Connect provides no warranty, nor accepts any liability occurring from any incorrect, incomplete, or misleading data or use of data.

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