On Sept. 3, 1964, President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the Wilderness Act into federal law. The Wilderness Act gave a lovely legal definition to the word “wilderness”—“A wilderness, in contrast with those areas where man and his own works dominate the landscape, is hereby recognized as an area where the earth and its community of life are untrammeled by man, where man himself is a visitor who does not remain.”

Today, the Wilderness Act protects more than 106 million acres of land. These lands include national parks and monuments, national forests, and areas administered by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

administer
Verb

to manage or supervise.

dominate
Verb

to overpower or control.

federal
Adjective

having to do with a nation's government (as opposed to local or regional government).

Noun

the geographic features of a region.

national park
Noun

geographic area protected by the national government of a country.

recognize
Verb

to identify or acknowledge.

Noun

environment that has remained essentially undisturbed by human activity.

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