Wilderness Connect, housed on the University of Montana campus, acknowledges that we are on the traditional lands of the Salish and Kalispel peoples, who have stewarded this land throughout many generations and are its past, present, and future caretakers.
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.
Current reported acreage figures are the sum of administrative unit acreages reported by the realty offices of the wilderness management agencies. Generally, these figures are updated when annual realty reports are published.
Acreage figures for total state land area and Federal Government owned land, used in some charts, are taken from the U.S. General Services Administration, Federal Real Property Profile, 2019 (see page 10). Total land area for Puerto Rico is taken from the U.S. Census Bureau's Geographic Areas Reference Manual, chapter 7, page 8.
Wilderness Connect's feature services provide access to GIS-based wilderness data for the National Wilderness Preservation System, as well as non-federal lands (ex. state and private inholdings and edgeholdings) found in wilderness. The latter data comes from the Bureau of Land Management's National Surface Management dataset. Wilderness Connect's public online wilderness map combines wilderness boundaries and inholdings with baselayers from ESRI's ArcGIS online library to assist visitors in planning wilderness trips and exploring wilderness areas. Similarly, Wilderness Connect's wilderness storymap overlays wilderness boundaries on a variety of other layers to illustrate the diverse benefits of wilderness through geography. Updates to wilderness boundaries are obtained annually from the wilderness management agencies. Where applied, boundary names containing "(Draft boundary)" have not been finalized and are not official.
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.