There are many symbols of America. The bald eagle. Uncle Sam. But none is more inspiring than the vast tracts of wilderness that symbolize the wide openness of our democracy and the rugged individuality of our national character.
Forty-five years ago today The Wilderness Act was signed by President Lyndon B. Johnson. What a great day that was for Americans. With the stroke of a pen millions of acres of wild and free country were preserved for generation after generation of Americans to explore and treasure.
Originally, the law protected nine million acres in 54 wilderness areas. Today, after passage this year of the bipartisan Omnibus Public Land Management Act, designated wilderness areas cover 109 million acres in 758 areas in 44 states.
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