If you own land completely inside the designated wilderness area (often called an “inholding”), management restrictions for wilderness areas do not apply to private land. Additionally, private property owners are assured adequate access to their land, and that could include permission to drive through a portion of the wilderness area to get to their land. The federal government could only acquire an inholding if the owner was a willing seller.
From an economic standpoint, wilderness designation benefits adjacent communities. In an increasingly urbanized landscape, farms and ranches depend on open space to serve as a buffer, protecting crops and pastures from encroaching development. Wilderness areas harbor bees and other beneficial insects that pollinate our fruits and vegetables. Businesses and individuals are increasingly looking to locate to areas that provide significant outdoor recreation opportunities, open space, and scenic vistas.
- Wild - These segments are wild, unroaded and undeveloped. Logging, road building, new mining claims, developed campgrounds, and motorized access are generally prohibited on Wild segments. All other activities associated with public lands such as grazing, mining of valid existing claims, hunting and other forms of non-motorized recreation are permitted subject to the protection of outstanding values.
- Scenic - These segments are generally undeveloped, but may have occasional road crossings and riverside structures that are visually screened from the river. Motorized use on trails may or may not be permitted based on existing use. All other activities normally associated with public lands are permitted, as long as visual quality and outstanding values are protected.
- Recreational - These segments are generally developed, with parallel roads, bridges and structures. All activities normally associated with public lands may occur provided that the stream’s outstanding values are protected.
Based on the existing level of development and motorized access, the eligible streams identified by the Forest Service are appropriately classified as Wild, Scenic, or Recreational.