NPSWilderness Photo

Four federal land management agencies under two departments - the Department of the Interior and the Department of Agriculture - are responsible for managing the diverse National Wilderness Preservation System. Each agency upholds its own specific mission while meeting wilderness management goals and objectives.

Common to all wilderness-managing agencies is the guidance and direction that is provided by the Wilderness Act. Although subsequent wilderness legislation is followed when applicable, the Wilderness Act bonds theses agencies together in the planning, implementation, and monitoring of the National Wilderness Preservation System. Out of the four agencies, the National Park Service manages the greatest amount of wilderness – approximately 41% of the National Wilderness Preservation System. The U.S. Forest Service manages the greatest number of wilderness areas.

For information about wilderness management in other agencies, visit .