The Wilderness Act serves as the guiding legislation for all wilderness decisions. In accordance with the Wilderness Act and subsequent legislation, wilderness areas are managed by four federal agencies: the National Park Service (NPS), the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the Bureau of Land Management, and the U.S. Forest Service. Each agency develops wilderness management guidance within the respective agency. NPS wilderness management guidance comes primarily from NPS Management Policies chapter 6, Director's Order #41 and Reference Manual #41. Guidance Papers, referred to as "White Papers," developed by the NPS National Wilderness Steering Committee provide additional guidance on specific topics and issues.
For information about wilderness policy and guidance in other agencies, explore information found on www.wilderness.net.