What It Is
Director’s Order 41 – Wilderness Stewardship provides accountability, consistency, and continuity in the National Park Service (NPS) wilderness stewardship program, and guides servicewide efforts in meeting the requirements of the Wilderness Act (16 U.S.C. 1131-1136).
This Order clarifies, where necessary, specific provisions of Management Policies 2006 and establishes specific instructions and requirements.
This Order should be applied to wilderness stewardship actions carried out within the framework of park general management plans, wilderness stewardship plans, natural resource plans, cultural resource plans, fire management plans, and other activity-level plans.The NPS will apply the guidance contained in this Order to all of its wilderness stewardship activities.
Why It Matters
Fifty-three percent of National Park System lands are designated as wilderness, with additional acreage in more than twenty-five parks proposed or recommended for wilderness designation. Consistency across the NPS system in the management and planning of these areas is vital, particularly with the ever increasing number of visitors enjoying NPS wilderness areas.
Director’s Order 41 supplements Management Policies 2006, Chapter 6, Wilderness Preservation and Management. Together with Reference Manual 41 (RM 41), this Order supersedes and replaces any conflicting guidance issued previously.
For the purpose of applying this guidance, unless specifically noted, the term “wilderness” includes the categories of eligible, proposed, recommended, and designated. Potential wilderness may be identified within the proposed, recommended or designated categories. It is important to note that these policies may in some instances be superseded by statutory provisions that apply to individual wilderness areas, by rights reserved by former landowners and, in Alaska, by applicable provisions of the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act (ANILCA).
- Find out more about wilderness stewardship and protection training resources on the Wilderness Stewardship CLP Landing Page!