National Wildlife Refuge System

Find Your Own Wilderness

Forster's and royal terns live on the shrinking landmass at Swanquarter Refuge wilderness, NC.
Credit: Bruce Freske/USFWS

The National Wildlife Refuge System has more than 20 million acres of designated wilderness. It has 75 wilderness areas – about one-fifth of the designated wilderness acres in the United States -- on 63 refuges in 26 states. Discover a wilderness area near your home or travel destination here.


For this summer, Thomas Jablonowski’s wilderness is on Swanquarter National Wildlife Refuge, NC. He is a Wilderness Fellow evaluating the impact of development, climate change and other factors on wilderness character.  He has already learned that waters have risen one foot over the last 100 years, encroaching on the wilderness area and reducing its terrestrial acreage. Read Jablonowski’s blog here – and come back through the summer as all seven Wilderness Fellows share their experiences.



Last updated: June 28, 2013