Wilderness and the National Forests

Aerial view of Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness, Minnesota, 1960.

The Forest History Society's collections on U.S. Forest Service History include numerous files pertaining to the history of wilderness on the national forests, such as speeches and reports from agency officials, executive leaders and legislators, conservationists, and scholars.

Wilderness and the National Forests is a synopsis of this history, documenting the changing views and rhetoric regarding wilderness that have played across the stages of public opinion and policy-making in the past eight decades.

San Rafael Wilderness (After passage of the 1964 Wilderness Act, the San Rafael became the first primitive area to be reclassified as wilderness. Approximately eleven months before its reclasification, Secretary of Agriculture Orville Freeman presented this testimony in support of the San Rafael Wilderness Area).

Superior National Forest highlights the history of the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness.

Wilderness Bibliography