Wilderness Boundary Data

By law, boundary descriptions of wilderness are available to the public. Boundary descriptions for all Forest Service wilderness areas are available for download online. For wilderness areas managed by the Bureau of Land Management, Fish and Wildlife Service, and National Park Service, boundary descriptions can be obtained by contacting the managing office.

GIS Data

The National Wilderness Preservation System is comprised of wilderness areas managed by the Bureau of Land Management, Fish and Wildlife Service, Forest Service and National Park Service. The dataset available here was created by mining and combining the best available data from these federal agencies into a single dataset representative of the entire wilderness system. The Wilderness Institute at the University of Montana's College of Forestry and Conservation, through a unique partnership with these four agencies, maintains and serves this public dataset online in both map service and shapefile format.

A shapefile of the entire NWPS and our public wilderness feature service are for use by those with GIS mapping software and expertise using and manipulating geographic data. Feature level metadata is available for all boundaries; this Excel spreadsheet provides the date of last update and contact information for the person, or source, from which the data was obtained. Boundaries are generally reobtained from the managing agencies and updated within this dataset annually.

Other Useful Online Maps

Protected Areas Database of the United States

The most comprehensive collection of protected lands, regardless of jurisdiction. Maintained by the USGS, this dataset includes wilderness areas, other federal protected lands (Parks, Refuges, WSAs, roadless areas, DOD and Army Corps lands etc.), state lands, and privately protected lands. The dataset also provides a link between the IUCN international protected areas classification and domestic protected area classifications.

Interactive Forest Visitor Map

The Forest Service visitor map provides prospective visitors to National Forests and Grasslands with access to information about agency roads, trails and recreational sites through a simple online interface.

Roadless Area Maps

Forest Service lands under the roadless rule, nationwide, as well as those under the Colorado and Idaho roadless rules.

Forests to Faucets

This Forest Service-managed dataset of the continental United States models the lands most important for surface drinking water, the role forests play in protecting these areas, and the extent to which these forests are threatened by development, insects and disease, and wildland fire.

Forest Service Watershed Condition Class Maps

This interactive map provides a nationally-consistent approach for classifying watershed conditions on Forest Service lands.

Wildland Fire Maps

This interactive map brings together various data sources to provide current wildland fire locational and activity maps.