Agencies

Bureau of Land Management

Bureau of Land Management agency shield image; click to go their web site Bureau of Land Management

  • Purpose: The origin of the BLM began with the General Land Office, formed in 1812, with the purpose to disposing of federal lands to private and state entities in order to encourage westward migration and settlement, including homesteading.  In 1939 the U.S. Grazing Service was established to manage grazing on the public domain still held by the federal government.  In 1946 these two agencies were merged to form the BLM, with a greater emphasis on long term conservation while administering land for continued disposal, grazing, and mineral uses.  In 1976, with the passage of the Federal Land Policy and Management Act, the BLM's mission was changed to end land disposal and manage the public domain under the principle of multiple-use, that is making judicious use of the various resources so that they are utilized in the combination that will best meet the present and future needs of the Nation.  This includes providing for the Nation’s need for domestic sources of natural resources as well as to preserve and protect certain public lands in their natural condition, including as wilderness.

  • Manages approximately 9% of the acreage within National Wilderness Preservation System.

  • Uses 48 administrative units to manage 224 designated wilderness areas.

Find wilderness areas on BLM lands (search by attribute). 

Fish and Wildlife Service

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service agency shield image; click to go their web site Fish and Wildlife Service

  • Purpose: The mission of the System is to administer a national network of lands and waters for the conservation, management, and where appropriate, restoration of the fish, wildlife, and plant resources and their habitats within the United States for the benefit of present and future generations of Americans.

  • Manages approximately 19% of the acreage within National Wilderness Preservation System.

  • Uses 64 administrative units to manage 71 designated wilderness areas.

Find wilderness areas on FWS lands (search by attribute). 

Forest Service

U.S. Forest Service agency shield image; click to go their web site Forest Service

  • Purpose: Congress established the Forest Service in 1905 to provide quality water and timber for the nation. Congress later directed the Forest Service to broaden its management scope for additional multiple uses and benefits and for the sustained yield of renewable resources such as water, forage, wildlife, wood, and recreation. The mission of the Forest Service is to sustain the health, diversity, and productivity of the nation's forests and grasslands to meet the needs of present and future generations.

  • Manages approximately 33% of the acreage within the National Wilderness Preservation System.

  • Uses 115 administrative units to manage 447 designated wilderness areas.

Find wilderness areas on FS lands (search by attribute). 

National Park Service

National Park Service agency shield image; click to go their web site National Park Service

  • Purpose: The mission of the National Park Service is to "...preserve unimpaired the natural and cultural resources and values of the National Park System for the enjoyment, education, and inspiration of this and future generations."

  • Manages approximately 40% of the acreage within National Wilderness Preservation System.

  • Uses 50 administrative units to manage 61 designated wilderness areas.

Find wilderness areas on NPS lands (search by attribute).