Mt. Hood National Forest Wilderness Areas

There are 8 wilderness areas, encompassing 311,448 acres, located in the Mt Hood National Forest: Badger Creek Wilderness, Bull of the Woods Wilderness, Clackamas Wilderness, Lower White River Wilderness, Mark O Hatfield Wilderness, Mt Hood Wilderness, Roaring River Wilderness and Salmon Huckleberry Wilderness.

These areas include 124,000 acres of newly designated Wilderness .

History

"In wildness is the preservation of the world." –Henry David Thoreau

Wilderness is an indispensable part of American history. Native Americans depended on the bounty of wildlands for survival and held Earth and its wild places as sacred. The great western explorers Meriwether Lewis and William Clark were inspired by the untamed beauty of wild places that became the forge upon which our distinctive American national character was created.

After just 200 years from the time of Lewis and Clark, the essential wildness of America had virtually disappeared. As Americans realized that the long-term health and welfare of the nation were at risk, a vision for conservation emerged.

The Wilderness Act

The Wilderness Act, passed by Congress in 1964, established the National Wilderness Preservation System, the system of all America’s wilderness areas, to "secure for the American people of present and future generations the benefits of an enduring resource of wilderness."

The Act was and continues to be the guiding piece of legislation for all Wilderness areas. The Act defines Wilderness as follows:

  • "…lands designated for preservation and protection in their natural condition…" Section 2(a)
  • "…an area where the earth and its community of life are untrammeled by man…" Section 2(c)
  • "…an area of undeveloped Federal land retaining its primeval character and influence, without permanent improvement or human habitation…" Section 2(c)
  • "…generally appears to have been affected primarily by the forces of nature, with the imprint of man’s work substantially unnoticeable…" Section 2(c)
  • "…has outstanding opportunities for solitude or a primitive and unconfined type of recreation…" Section 2(c)
  • "…shall be devoted to the public purposes of recreation, scenic, scientific, educational, conservation and historic use." Section 4(b)