Wilderness area


Wilderness area

A wilderness area is a region where the land is in a natural state; where impacts from human activities are minimal—that is, as a wilderness. It might also be called a "wild" or "natural" area. Especially in wealthier, industrialized nations, it has a specific legal meaning as well: as land where development is prohibited by law. Many nations have designated Wilderness Areas, including Australia, Canada, New Zealand, South Africa and the United States.

The World Conservation Union (IUCN) classifies wilderness at two levels, Ia (Strict Nature Preserves) and Ib (Wilderness areas).

Most scientists and conservationists agree that no place on earth is completely untouched by humanity, either due to past occupation by indigenous people, or through global processes such as climate change. Activities on the margins of specific wilderness areas, such as fire suppression and the interruption of animal migration also affect the interior of wildernesses.

Wilderness areas by country

New Zealand

There are seven wilderness areas in New Zealand as defined by the National Parks Act 1980 and the Conservation Act 1987 that fall well within the IUCN definition. Wilderness areas cannot have any human intervention and can only have indigenous species re-introduced into the area if it is compatible with conservation management strategies.

United States

In the United States, a Wilderness Area is an area of federal land set aside by an act of Congress. Human activities in wilderness areas are restricted to scientific study and non-mechanized recreation; horses are permitted but motorized vehicles and equipment are not.

ee also

*Land use
*National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS) — A U.S.-based wilderness education program
*List of U.S. Wilderness Areas
*Wilderness Act

External links

* [http://www.wilderness.net Wilderness Information Network]


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Look at other dictionaries:

  • wilderness area — ➔ area * * * wilderness area UK US noun [C] ENVIRONMENT ► in the US, an area of land that is protected by the government and can only be used for activities that do not harm the land s natural condition: »You can t even drive a vehicle in… …   Financial and business terms

  • Wilderness Area — Wilderness Area, Wildnisgebiet, steht für: Strict Nature Reserve/Wilderness Area, dt. Strenges Naturreservat/Wildnisgebiet, höchste Kategorie I der International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources Wilderness Area (Vereinigte… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • wilderness area — wilderness .area n an area of public land in the US where no buildings or roads are allowed to be built …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • wilderness area — wilderness ,area noun count AMERICAN an area where the government has decided that no roads or buildings can be built so that it can be enjoyed for its natural beauty and animals can live there in peace …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

  • wilderness area — ☆ wilderness area n. an area of public land, as of virgin forest, preserved in its natural state by prohibiting by law the construction of roads, buildings, etc …   English World dictionary

  • wilderness area — noun : an area (as of national forest land) set aside by government for preservation of natural conditions for scientific or recreational purposes * * * a region whose natural growth is protected by legislation and whose recreational and… …   Useful english dictionary

  • wilderness area — UK / US noun [countable] Word forms wilderness area : singular wilderness area plural wilderness areas American an area where the government has decided that no roads or buildings can be built so that it can be enjoyed for its natural beauty and… …   English dictionary

  • wilderness area — noun (C) an area of public land in the US where no buildings or roads are allowed to be built …   Longman dictionary of contemporary English

  • wilderness area — noun Usage: often capitalized W&A Date: 1928 an often large tract of public land maintained essentially in its natural state and protected against introduction of intrusive artifacts (as roads and buildings) …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • wilderness area — a region whose natural growth is protected by legislation and whose recreational and industrial use is restricted. [1925 30, Amer.] * * * …   Universalium


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