The idea of untouched wilderness is at the core of the American experience, offering opportunity for recreation and reflection, sanctuary for wildlife and protected landscapes as a legacy for future generations. Yet, only 2.5 percent of our federal public land outside of Alaska is permanently protected as wilderness — free of roads and industrial development and forever available for hiking, hunting, fishing and a wide range of other recreational pursuits. These areas are also important refuges for many threatened and endangered species, and serve as critical storehouses of biodiversity.
Launched by Pew in 2002, the Campaign for America's Wilderness focuses on achieving lasting protection for threatened wild lands. It proactively works to preserve some of the nation's last, best, wild places by adding them to the National Wilderness Preservation System. We provide local wilderness advocates with expertise in campaign planning and implementation and assist with opinion research, communications and advocacy. The Campaign partners with state coalitions and local citizen groups to support citizen wilderness proposals from every part of the country.
Congress has added 158 new or expanded wilderness areas totaling nearly five million acres across 14 states and Puerto Rico since the Campaign began its work.