Wilderness Legislation

  • The Wilderness Act of 1964 - This visionary and poetic bill created the National Wilderness Preservation System and defined what “wilderness” is. Jarbidge Wilderness in Elko County became Nevada’s first wilderness. All subsequent bills add additional wilderness areas to this national system. PDF of entire bill.
  • The Nevada Wilderness Protection Act of 1989 – This was Nevada’s first “Forest Service” wilderness bill. It took our volunteer wilderness activists years of hard work to see this passed. The bill created 13 new wilderness areas (733, 400 acres) including Mt. Charleston, Mt. Rose, Table Mountain, and Ruby Mountains Wilderness Areas. PDF of entire bill.
  • The California Desert Protection Act of 1994 – This bill largely involved designating wilderness and parks in the California Desert but it did include about 44,000 acres of wilderness in the Death Valley National Park that crosses into Nevada near Beatty. PDF of the wilderness portion of bill.
  • The Black Rock Desert - High Rock Canyon Emigrant Trails National Conservation Area Act of 2000 – This mouthful of a bill created the Black Rock Desert-High Rock Canyon Emigrant Trails National Conservation Area in the northwestern region of Nevada. It also created 10 new wilderness areas (752,000 acres) managed by the Bureau of Land Management. The Black Rock Desert Wilderness became Nevada’s biggest wilderness area. This region will now always look like it did when the early pioneers came through on their wagons in the 1846. PDF of the wilderness portion of bill.
  • Amendments to the Black Rock Bill – The Black Rock bill was amended in November 2001. The changes were made to clarify policies related to hunting, trapping, fishing, road maintenance, wildland fire protection and the release of certain parcels not included in the wilderness system. PDF of the wilderness portion of bill.
  • Clark County Conservation of Public Land and Natural Resources Act of 2002 – Explosive growth in the Las Vegas Valley meant if areas weren’t protected fast, they would be paved under. This bill protected 16 new wilderness areas (452,000 acres) surrounding Las Vegas and Lake Mead. The new wilderness is managed by the Bureau of Land Management, Forest Service and the National Park Service. PDF of the wilderness portion of bill.
  • Lincoln County Conservation, Recreation and Development Act of 2004 – This bill added some great Wilderness areas to protect our bighorn sheep and precious archaeological resources including the Mormon, Meadow Valley, and Delmar Mountains. About 768,000 acres and 14 new Wilderness areas managed by the Bureau of Land Management were added in this sparsely populated county. PDF of the wilderness portion of bill.
  • White Pine County Conservation, Recreation and Development Act of 2006 - Citizens of White Pine County knew they had some special places that were getting damaged from irresponsible off-road vehicle use and they wanted to protect their wildland heritage. Congress protected 12 new Wilderness areas (558,000 acres) including gems like the High Schells and Mt. Grafton. PDF of the wilderness portion of bill.
  • Pine Forest Range and Wovoka Wilderness of 2014- As part of the National Defense Authorization Act, the Pine Forest Range (Section 3060, pages 299-313) and Wovoka (Section 3060, pages 328-341) areas were designated as wilderness. To read the entire Natural Resources Related Provisions of the NDAA 2014, click here.
  • Congressional Grazing Guidelines – Ranchers often want to know how wilderness affects their grazing operations. Congress spelled that out in this document which is referred to in all wilderness legislation in Nevada. (2 page PDF)
  • Congressional Wildlife Guidelines – Similar to the grazing guidelines, this document gives Congressional intent on how wildlife will be managed in wilderness. PDF
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