Lands with Wilderness Characteristics

Munger Creek, Colorado, Photo by: Soren Jespersen
Munger Creek, Colorado
Photo by: Soren Jespersen
Westwide Roadless Analysis 2015-2016
Areas in red are roadless areas that we can still work to protect.

One of the most timely ways to identify and protect healthy habitat areas is to engage with the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) to identify Lands with Wilderness Characteristics and to advocate for the protection of those areas.

The BLM is the federal agency that manages over 245 million acres of public land, on behalf of the people. Part of their job is to inventory large natural areas that offer solitude for wildlife and people alike, designate the as Lands with Wilderness Characteristics (LWCs), and consider protecting them for their ecological and recreational values.

Coalition for Conservation

Rocky Mountain Wild works with a coalition of groups – including Conservation Colorado, The Pew Charitable Trusts, Wild Connections, The Wilderness Society, and Wilderness Workshop – to identify and advocate for the protection of LWCs.

Some of the tasks that Rocky Mountain Wild performs includes:

  • Roadless Analysis – we perform GIS analysis to identify roadless lands that may qualify as LWCs;
  • Data Preparation – we convert data to Google Earth and GPS format to support prioritizing and mapping of potential LWCs;
  • Boundary Definition and Maps – field mappers share data in Google Earth format with us to create detailed boundaries of LWCs after their on-the-ground inventories;
  • Supplemental Values – LWCs are required to be of a certain size (typically 5,000 acres or more) and have characteristics of naturalness and opportunities for solitude. Rocky Mountain Wild’s Assessment of Biological Impact (ABI) tool provides helpful input for identifying and describing those values when advocating for the BLM to recognize areas as LWCs.