Designated Wilderness 40 Years Old Today
President Lyndon B. Johnson, 40 years ago today, signed into law the Wilderness Act, the other major legacy of A.T. progenitor Benton MacKaye, who—with seven colleagues from his A.T. days—founded the Wilderness Society in 1935 and worked for three decades with an array of conservationists to craft and lobby for this legislation. The Appalachian Trail crosses (briefly) only one of the 54 original wilderness areas designated by Congress, the Great Gulf in the White Mountains National Forest, but today it crosses 21 such areas and is routed alongside two more. Designated wilderness gives the highest level of protection for natural resources in the national forest system. Our volunteer Trail maintainers do their work in them the old-fashioned way: No chainsaws. The A.T. is a path through four in Georgia, one that straddles North Carolina and Georgia, two in Tennessee, 10 in Virginia, three in Vermont, and the Great Gulf in New Hampshire. For more information on the history and importance of the act, visit www.wildernessforever.org.
September 3, 2004
from http://www.appalachiantrail.org/trailnews/index.html , and there's a nifty map on the ATC's webpage