Outdoors in the Pacific Northwest
Wilderness Areas

Wilderness Areas of the Great Northwest

By State and Province

What is a Wilderness Area?
There are differing definitions, for example from legal or biological points of view. The Wilderness Act of 1964, says a wilderness is defined by "its lack of noticeable human modification or presence; it is a place where the landscape is affected primarily by the forces of nature and where humans are visitors who do not remain." In addition, a Wilderness Area is "composed of existing federal lands".

Related Web Sites

Conservation Media
Designed for the conservation professional on how to communicate stories through filmmaking, photography, writing, and communication workshops.

Conservation Northwest
Headquartered in Bellingham, Washington, the Alliance was founded in 1989 to protect and restore ecosystems in the Pacific Northwest.

Defenders of Wildlife
Headquartered in Washington, DC, this organization focuses on the nationwide protection of all native wild animals and plants in their natural communities. Their programs on wolves and bears are of particular interest to the Northwest. It has a membership of 200,000.

Map of National Wilderness Preservation System

National Wilderness Preservation System
Article and slideshow presented by the Wilderness Society.

Northwest Wilderness Institute
Adventure education for both on land and water experiences.

The Wildlife News
This web site features articles and blogs regarding wildlife and wildlife habitats.

British Columbia

Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society (CPAWS)
Links to the BC chapter of CPAWS, an organization founded in 1963, and which focuses on establishing and linking protected areas, and making sure nature comes first in their management.

WildBC is a program of the Habitat Conservation Trust Foundation and the Ministry of Environment providing education on understanding and caring for the environment.


Department of Idaho Fish and Wildlife

Idaho Rivers United
A statewide, non-profit river conservation group devoted to the protection of Idaho's rivers, streams and riparian areas and the recovery of Idaho's wild salmon and steelhead.

Ralph Maughan's Wildlife Reports
Conservation news primarily about wolves in Yellowstone and Idaho plus other information about wildlife and their habitats.


American Wildlands
Located in Bozeman, American Wildlands' mission is to focus on the American West, with special attention on the Northern Rockies, for the purpose of promoting, protecting and restoring bio-diversity and sustainable management of the West's wildlands and wildlife.

Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks

Montana Wilderness Association (MWA)
Founded in 1958, MWA seeks to protect Montana's wild lands, National Forest, and Bureau of Land Management areas.

University of Montana Wildlife Biology Program


Nature of the Northwest: Virtual Visitor Center
This page of the Centre lists Oregon and Washington wildernesses as found in national parks, national forests, and Bureau of Land Management lands.

Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife


Washington Department of Fish & Wildlife
There are 32 wildlife areas and over 700 water accessed sites managed by the WDFW consisting of over 1 million acres of land.

Washington Wild
This non-profit was founded in 1979 and has over 10,000 members who help protect and restore wild lands through advocacy, education and civic engagement.

WA Wilderness Areas
GORP provides a list of wilderness areas, each with a link to an article specific to that area.

This page lists the wilderness areas in Washington in alphabetical order. Each wilderness area has a link to a map.

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