Celebrating 50 Years of America's Wild Spaces

Fifty years ago, in 1964, U.S. President Lyndon Johnson signed the Wilderness Act into law, setting 54 areas aside for federal protection. It opened the way for an American wilderness system that has grown to more than 110 million protected acres in which, the act states, "the earth and its community of life are untrammeled by man, where man himself is a visitor who does not remain." More proposed areas await congressional approval, including the Rocky Mountain Front in Montana and the Columbine-Hondo in New Mexico.

Click here to read more about the legacy of the Wilderness Act online in National Geographic magazine.