7 Pages

Wilderness on Woldlife Refuges

WithRobert Jantzen

The Wilderness Act directed the Secretary of the Interior to review every roadless area of 5,000 or more contiguous acres and every roadless island within national wildlife refuges and game ranges that were under his jurisdiction on the effective date of the Act. At that time the refuge system consisted of 286 refuges and approximately 29.04 million acres. A recommendation for wilderness designation was made for all or portions of 90 refuges. The Wilderness Act states "that the purpose of this Act is hereby declared to be within and supplemental to the purpose for which the. National Wildlife Refuge System is established and administered." For the future use and enjoyment of wilderness areas and to provide for their protection and the preservation of their wilderness character, each wilderness area with the National Wildlife Refuge System has a management plan. Congress took a special interest in public use within the Okefenokee wilderness.