National Park Wilderness Laws

Orphaned Park Wilderness: The National Park System Wilderness Laws

[updated February 1, 2013]

A. Laws establishing wilderness, in chronological order:

Statute #1

Craters of the Moon NM – Public Law 91-504 - 84 Stat. 1105 - 10/23/70

Petrified Forest NP - Public Law 91-504 - 84 Stat. 1106 - 10/23/70

Statute #2

Lava Beds NM    Public Law 92-493 – 86 Stat. 811 10/13/72

Statute #3

Lassen Volcanic NP    Public Law 92-510 – 86 Stat. 918 10/19/72

Statute #4

Point Reyes NS    Public Law 94-544 – 90 Stat. 2515 10/18/76

                            Public Law 94-567 – 90 Stat. 2693 10/20/76

Statute # 5

Bandelier NM - Public Law 94-567 - 90 Stat. 2692 - 10/20/76

Black Canyon of the
Gunnison NM - Public Law 94-567 - 90 Stat. 2692 - 10/20/76
(1)

Chiricahua NM - Public Law 94-567 – 90 Stat. 2692 - 10/20/76
(1)

Great Sand Dunes NM - Public Law 94-567 – 90 Stat. 2692 - 10/20/76

Haleakala NP - Public Law 94-567 – 90 Stat. 2692 - 10/20/76

Isle Royale NP - Public Law 94-567 - 90 Stat. 2692 - 10/20/76

Joshua Tree NM - Public Law 94-567 - 90 Stat. 2692 - 10/20/76
(1)

Mesa Verde NP - Public Law 94-567 - 90 Stat. 2693 - 10/20/76

Pinnacles NM - Public Law 94-567 - 90 Stat. 2693 - 10/20/76

Saguaro NM - Public Law 94-567 - 90 Stat. 2693 - 10/20/76

Badlands NM - Public Law 94-567 - 90 Stat. 2693 - 10/20/76

Shenandoah NP - Public Law 94-567 - 90 Stat. 2693 - 10/20/76

Statute #6

Buffalo NR - Public Law 95-625 - 92 Stat. 3489 - 11/10/78

Carlsbad Caverns NP - Public Law 95-625 - 92 Stat. 3489 - 11/10/78

Everglades NP - Public Law 95-625 - 92 Stat. 3490 - 11/10/78

Guadalupe NP - Public Law 95-625 - 92 Stat. 3490 - 11/10/78

Gulf Islands NS - Public Law 95-625 - 92 Stat. 3490 - 11/10/78

Hawaii Volcanoes NP - Public Law 95-625 - 92 Stat. 3490 - 11/10/78

Organ Pipe Cactus NM - Public Law 95-625 - 92 Stat. 3490 - 11/10/78

Theodore Roosevelt NP- Public Law 95-625 - 92 Stat. 3490 - 11/10/78

Statute #7

Denali NP - Public Law 96-487 - 94 Stat. 2417 - 12/02/80

Gates of the Arctic NP - Public Law 96-487 - 94 Stat. 2417 - 12/02/80

Glacier Bay NP - Public Law 96-487 - 94 Stat. 2417 - 12/02/80

Katmai NP - Public Law 96-487 - 94 Stat. 2417 - 12/02/80

Kobuk Valley NP - Public Law 96-487 - 94 Stat. 2417 - 12/02/80

Lake Clark NP - Public Law 96-487 - 94 Stat. 2417 - 12/02/80

Noatak NPres - Public Law 96-487 - 94 Stat. 2417 - 12/02/80

Wrangell-St.Elias NP - Public Law 96-487 - 94 Stat. 2417 - 12/02/80

Statute #8

Rocky Mountain NP    Public Law 96-560 – 94 Stat. 3271 12/22/80

Statute #9

Fire Island NS    Public Law 96-585 – 94 Stat. 3379 12/23/80

Statute #10

Cumberland Island NS    Public Law 97-250 – 96 Stat. 709 9/8/82

Statute #11

Chiricahua NM    Public Law 98-406 – 98 S tat. 1491 8/28/84 (2)

Statute #12

Devils Postpile NM    Public Law 98-425 – 98 Stat. 1622 9/28/84

Yosemite NP    Public Law 98-425 – 98 Stat. 1627 9/28/84

Sequoia-Kings Canyon NPs    Public Law 98-425 – 98 Stat. 1627 9/28/84

Statute #13

Congaree Swamp NM    Public Law 100-524 – 102 Stat. 2606 10/24/88

Statute #14

Olympic NP    Public Law 100-668 – 102 Stat. 3961 11/16/88

North Cascades NP    Public Law 100-668 – 102 Stat. 3963 11/16/88

Mt. Rainier NP    Public Law 100-668 – 102 Stat. 3965 11/16/88

Statute #15

Death Valley NP    Public Law 103-433 – 108 Stat. 4496 10/31/94

Joshua Tree NP    Public Law 103-433 – 108 Stat. 4496 10/31/94 (2)

Mojave NPres    Public Law 103-433 – 108 Stat. 4496 10/31/94

Statute #16

Black Canyon of the Gunnison NP    Public Law 106-76 – 113 Stat. 1129 10/21/99 (2)

Statute #17

Great Sand Dunes NP and Pres    Public Law 106-530 – 114 Stat. 2530 11/22/00 (2)

Statute #18

Lake Mead NRA    Public Law 107-282 – 116 Stat. 1999 11/06/02

Statute #19

Pinnacles NM (2)    Public Law 107-370 – 116 Stat. 3072 12/19/02

Statute #20

Apostle Island NL    Public Law 108-447 – 118 Stat. 3096 12/08/04

Statute #21

Pictured Rocks NL - Public Law 111-11 - 123 Stat. 1042 - 3/30/09

Joshua Tree NP - Public Law 111-11 - 123 Stat. 1063 - 3/30/09
(3)

Sequoia-Kings
Canyon NPs - Public Law 111-11 - 123 Stat. 1068 - 3/30/09
(2)

Rocky Mountain NP - Public Law 111-11 - 123 Stat. 1070 - 3/30/09
(2)

Zion NP - Public Law 111-11 - 123 Stat. 1080 - 3/30/09

B. Other laws modifying or affecting park wilderness, in chronological order:

1. Great Sand Dunes NM    Public Law 95-625 – 92 Stat. 3474 11/10/78

(See Technical Amendments of 10/12/79) P.L. 96-87 (93 Stat. 665)

Required the NPS to manage lands added by 1978 act in accordance with adjacent lands within the monument. The adjacent lands are wilderness.

2. Sleeping Bear Dunes NL- Public Law 97-361 - 96 Stat. 1724 - 10/22/82
Required the NPS to manage areas recommended as wilderness and potential wilderness in a January 1981 report “to maintain their presently existing wilderness character” until Congress determines otherwise.

3. Gates of the Arctic NP&Pres
Noatak NPres - Public Law 104-333 - 110 Stat. 4118 - 11/12/96
Revised boundaries of Gates of the Arctic wilderness as part of the Anaktuvuk Pass land exchange. Restated and adjusted number of wilderness acres in Noatak.

4. Katmai NP - Public Law 105-277 - 112 Stat. 2681-264 – 10/21/98
Revised wilderness boundary in connection with a minor (10 acre) land exchange.

5. Everglades NP - Public Law 105-313 - 112 Stat. 2964 - 10/30/98
Established a Miccosukee Reserved Area of several hundred acres in the park. The Senate Report accompanying the act (SR 105-361) states that the land designated as the Reserved Area should be construed as released from wilderness.

6. Glacier Bay NP - Public Law 105-317 - 112 Stat. 3002 - 10/30/98
Revised wilderness boundaries in connection with a land exchange to enable a hydropower project for the town of Gustavus, Alaska.

7. Cumberland Is. NS - Public Law 108-447- 118 Stat. 3072 - 12/08/04
Adjusted wilderness boundaries to exclude certain dirt roads and historic sites to allow for motor vehicle tours on the excluded roads. In June 2004 the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that such tours by the NPS violated the Wilderness Act.

8. Denali NP - Public Law 110-229 - 122 Stat. 800 - 5/08/08
Grants an easement on parkland, not to exceed 25 acres, to Alaska Railroad. In exchange, Alaska Railroad relinquishes same amount of acres in an existing easement on park land. If the land with the relinquished easement is adjacent to designated wilderness, the land will become wilderness.

9. Point Reyes NS - Public Law 111-88 - 123 Stat. 2932 - 10/30/09 Section 124 of the Appropriations Act for Fiscal Year 2010 authorizes the Secretary of the Interior to renew a permit for a commercial oyster farm in Drakes Bay, an area designated as potential wilderness in 1976, for a ten year period, beginning on November 30, 2012. In December 2012, Secretary Salazar declined to renew the permit.

10. Olympic NP - Public Law 112-97 - 126 Stat. 257 - 2/27/12
The Quileute Tsunami and Flood Protection Act transferred 785 acres of Federal lands in Olympic National Park to the Quileute Tribe around LaPush, Washington. Among the 785 acres, the law estimates that 222 acres were wilderness, designated in 1988. The law made no provision to offset the loss by designating any other Federal park lands in Olympic as wilderness.

11. Sequoia/Kings Canyon NPs - Public Law 112-128 – 126 Stat. 373 – 6/05/12
The Sequoia and Kings Canyon Backcountry Access Act directed the Secretary of the Interior to issue commercial use authorizations to commercial livestock operators in the wilderness portions of those parks. This law responded to a decision of the Federal District Court for the Northern District of California on January 24, 2012 that the NPS, in allowing commercial stock use, failed to meet the tests of the Wilderness Act that such “commercial services may be performed…to the extent necessary for activities which are proper for realizing the recreational or other wilderness purposes of the area(s)” 16 U.S.C. 1133(d)(5). After the court decision, the NPS suspended all such authorizations. The law directed the reissuance of such commercial use authorizations for which ever comes first – either a four year period (i.e. until June 2016) or until the Secretary completed a wilderness stewardship plan for the parks that analyzed and determined what level of commercial stock use was appropriate. The law mandated that such a plan be prepared within three years.