Since the passage of the Wilderness Act in 1964 and creation of the National Wilderness Preservation System conservationists have worked diligently to protect undeveloped public wildlands as Wilderness. These undeveloped wildlands are also known as roadless areas. National forests, national parks, national wildlife refuges and lands administered by the Bureau of Land Management all contain millions of acres of roadless wildlands that qualify for wilderness designation.
Today less than 3% (about 56 million acres) of all the lower 48 states acreage is designated wilderness. Including Alaska, approximately 5% of all lands in the United States is designated wilderness – roughly 111,000 million acres.
Only Congress can designate a federal public wildland as Wilderness. Designated wilderness areas are generally protected from industrial development including road building, logging, new mining entry, new livestock allotments, as well as all forms of motorized and mechanized transportation. However, undeveloped roadless areas, particularly in Idaho, are susceptible to all of these threats. Learn about the Idaho Roadless Rule.
There are approximately 1.5 million acres of roadless wildlands on the Nez Perce and Clearwater National Forests that have no permanent protection. In order to protect these irreplaceable wildlands they have been proposed as Wilderness. The Northern Rockies Ecosystem Protection Act would designate these wildlands as Wilderness.
Click the below links for a description and map of each irreplaceable roadless area in the Clearwater region. Other important roadless areas on the fringe of our mission area that we advocate for protection of include the Bitterroot Face and Lolo Peak (Bitterroot and Lolo National Forests/Selway – Bitterroot Wilderness additions), Rapid River and Salmon Face (Nez Perce National Forest/Hells Canyon Wilderness additions), and Mosquito – Fly, Sheep – Stateline, and Midget Peak (Idaho Panhandle National Forests).
Clear Creek – 9,000 acres, Clearwater National Forest
Cove – Mallard/Frank Church – River of No Return Addition – 64,000 acres, Nez Perce National Forest
Dixie Summit – Nut Hill – 13,000 acres, Nez Perce National Forest
Eldorado Creek – 7,000 acres, Clearwater National Forest
Fish – Hungery Creek (North Lochsa Slope) – 118,000 acres, Clearwater National Forest
Gospel – Hump Additions – 55,000 acres, Nez Perce National Forest
Grandmother Mountain – 35,000 acres, Saint Joe National Forest and Bureau of Land Management
John Day – 10,000 acres, Nez Perce National Forest
Kelly Creek (Great Burn) – 255,000 acres, Clearwater and Lolo National Forests
Lick Point – 7,000 acres, Nez Perce National Forest
Little Slate Creek – 12,000 acres, Nez Perce National Forest
Little Slate Creek North – 6,000 acres, Nez Perce National Forest
Lochsa Slope/Selway – Bitterroot Addition – 75,000 acres, Nez Perce National Forest
Mallard – Larkins – 260,000 acres, Clearwater and Saint Joe National Forests
Meadow Creek/Selway – Bitterroot Addition – 215,000 acres, Nez Perce National Forest
Moose Mountain – 22,000 acres, Clearwater National Forest
North Fork Slate Creek – 11,000 acres, Nez Perce National Forest
North Fork Spruce/Selway – Bitterroot Addition – 36,000 acres, Nez Perce National Forest
O’Hara – Falls Creek – 33,000 acres, Nez Perce National Forest
Pilot Knob (Silver Creek) – 21,000 acres, Nez Perce National Forest
Pinchot Butte – 9,000 acres, Nez Perce National Forest
Pot Mountain – 51,000 acres, Clearwater National Forest
Rackliff – Gedney/Selway – Bitterroot Addition – 90,000, Nez Perce – Clearwater National Forests
Selway – Bitterroot Additions – 580,000 acres, Nez Perce – Clearwater National Forests
Siwash Creek – 9,000 acres, Clearwater National Forest
Sneakfoot Meadows/Selway – Bitterroot Addition – 23,000 acres, Clearwater National Forest
Upper North Fork – 63,000 acres, Clearwater National Forest
Weir Creek (Weir – Post Office) – 22,000, Clearwater National Forest
Weitas Creek – 260,000 acres, Clearwater National Forest