It’s official. On March 30th, President Obama signed into law the Omnibus Public Land Management Act, federally designating 2 million acres of our national forests as Wilderness. The bill was the result of15 years of hard work by Wilderness supporters, and includes new Wilderness in Virginia and West Virginia. 37,000 acres of the Monongahela National Forest will now be protected as Wilderness, including expansions to the popular Dolly Sods and Cranberry Wilderness areas. In Virginia, 50,000 acres of new Wilderness was created, as well as two new National Scenic Areas, which enjoy many of the same protections of Wilderness but allow for mountain biking.
Look for a detailed guide to the new Wilderness areas in the July issue of Blue Ridge Outdoors. Find out more about the landmark Wilderness bill here.