In 1964 the Wilderness Act was signed into law as a way to designate special protection to lands that met a certain criteria. Please see for the complete definition of the act. http://wilderness.nps.gov/document/WildernessAct.pdf
The problem for the people who use the public lands is that the question of which areas should be designated wilderness has still not been answered. The problem being that areas that may meet the criteria for wilderness are set aside as Wilderness Study Areas or Roadless Areas on the forest; but the decision over whether they are formally designated Wilderness still remains. This uncertainty affects both the people who want to use the natural resources in these areas as well as those who feel the areas should be left untouched.
This brings us to our program where we define Wilderness and look at a number of facets that make up the Wilderness debate.