Wyoming public wildlands are the traditional and ancestral homelands, territories, and hunting grounds
of more than thirty Indigenous Tribal nations, many with inherent sovereign and reserved treaty rights
regarding the lands, waterways, wildlife, and vegetation within the state. Tribal nations have stewarded
and maintained kinship with these ecosystems since time immemorial, cultivating comprehensive and
unique place-based knowledge systems that offer critical perspectives and wisdom regarding the future
of wild landscapes.
Wyoming Wilderness Association respects and honors Tribes and Indigenous Peoples on whose
traditional lands and territories we work, including but certainly not limited to:
Aaniiih (Gros Ventre)
Cheyenne River Sioux
Lower Brule Sioux
Nimiipuu (Nez Perce)
Northwestern Band of the Shoshone
Sisseton Wahpeton Oyate
Skull Valley Band of Goshute
By acknowledging the ongoing legacy of Native stewardship and sovereignty along with the history of
forced dispossession and broken treaties that created the public wildlands we know today, we commit
to engage and elevate Indigenous Tribal nations, voices, and interests in our efforts. We believe
wildlands are for everyone and by embracing a holistic and encompassing approach, we are better
equipped to pursue designations and management that safeguard these undeveloped places as intact
and resilient landscapes, honoring their cultural past and ensuring their future.
To learn about the Indigenous Tribal nations connected to Wyoming, please visit respective Tribal
websites or the links below:
Greater Yellowstone Coalition Ancestral Connections Map
US Forest Service Tribal Connections Map
The 1984 Wyoming Wilderness Act permanently protected 1.1 million acres of ecologically diverse, wild landscapes. The wilderness system in Wyoming encompasses roughly 3 million acres. However, 5 million acres of spectacular wild land, spanning deserts, forests, and plains, remains unprotected. Our top priority is to defend the wilderness characteristics of wild, roadless lands and safeguard their potential for future wilderness designation.
Wilderness Study areas
The Federal Land Policy and Management Act of 1976 directed the BLM to inventory and study its roadless areas for wilderness characteristics throughout the west. The Wilderness Study Areas (WSAs) depicted in the following map are a result of that process. They are undeveloped lands that retain their primeval character and are managed to preserve their natural condition. These areas stay WSAs until Congress designates them as Wilderness, or releases protections.
What is a wilderness area?
In 1964, the Congress of the United States took a far-sighted action by passing the Wilderness Act, legally designating certain federal lands as Wilderness. Congress preserved these lands: “…in order to assure that an increasing population, accompanied by expanding settlement and growing mechanization does not occupy and modify all areas within the United States and its possessions, leaving no lands designated for preservation and protection in their natural condition”. The Wilderness Act prohibits roads, mining, timber cutting and motorized vehicles in these areas.