Wilderness Act 50th Anniversary

Visitors to the refuge - George Bilyk.

"Miniature wildernesses a stone's throw from megalopolis - a Fire Island seashore, a Great Swamp of New Jersey - may be as important to the future as the preservation of Yellowstone Park."
- Stuart L. Udall, Secretary of the Interior (1961-1969)


Celebrating 50 years of the Wilderness Act at Great Swamp

2014 marked the 50th anniversary of the Wilderness Act. Great Swamp National Wildlife Refuge in northern New Jersey, only 26 miles west of Times Square, is an oasis protected by the Wilderness Act, which was signed into law by President Johnson. As the first designated wilderness area in the Department of the Interior, Great Swamp Refuge preserves over 3,600 acres of wilderness and offers visitors a chance to experience a place where natural systems truly dominate.

September 3, 2014 marks the 50th anniversary and Sally Jewell, Secretary of the Interior, Dan M. Ashe, Director of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen (NJ-11), Rep. Leonard Lance (NJ-07), and staff from The Wilderness Society, will be speaking to honor this local and national treasure and celebrate years of community value. As part of the event, a crew of local youth from New Jersey, the Secretary, the Director, and Congressman will help clear and restore wilderness trails damaged by hurricane Sandy.

Follow The Student Conservation Association's Great Swamp crew as they work to restore wilderness trails:  http://www.thesca.org/connect/follow-me/Emily%20Bowles 

DOI media advisory: http://www.interior.gov/news/mediaadvisories/secretary-jewell-to-mark-50th-anniversary-of-landmark-conservation-laws.cfm 

What exactly is wilderness? Find out from our friends at The Wilderness Society: http://wilderness.org/ 

Learn more about 50 years of wilderness: http://www.wilderness50th.org/