Aldo Leopold Wilderness Research Institute


Since its founding in 1993, Aldo Leopold Wilderness Research Institute scientists have worked on many high priority wilderness issues for the four National Wilderness Preservation System (NWPS) agencies. Wilderness research topics include:

  • Natural disturbances (e.g., past, present and future role of wild land fire in shaping ecosystems);
  • Social barriers to fire restoration;
  • Recreation experiences and impacts, trends in use and users and managing conflicting demands;
  • Inventory and monitoring (e.g., amphibians and reptiles); and,
  • Ecosystem services, social and cultural resources and climate and land use change vulnerability assessment.

Leopold Institute scientists also have a long history of working with wilderness agency managers on the development of wilderness stewardship tools, such as the Limits of Acceptable Change planning framework, determining legislative history, wilderness character monitoring and frameworks to evaluate proposals for scientific activities and restoration actions in wilderness.

What You’ll Find

  • What is Wilderness?  Information on the Wilderness Act of 1964 and interactive maps of wilderness areas around the country and by agency
  • Our Science Current research and agendas, assessments, archived data and international wilderness collaboration programs
  • News
  • Publications
  • Resources for Managers Wilderness research applications, research highlights, stewardship challenges, wilderness videos, presentation materials, brochures and helpful links


  • Did this site help increase your understanding of wilderness issues and ongoing wilderness-related research?

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