Deciding to Keep Wilderness Wild: Four Cornerstones for Wilderness Managers

Where: Online


This course explores the four most important principles of managing wilderness. Each Cornerstone begins with a story to help frame the theoretical perspective of that Cornerstone and concludes with a short case study that allows you to practice what you have learned. The stories and case studies are based on real situations. They are designed to stimulate your thought process so that when you are faced with difficult wilderness stewardship issues, you can make well-informed decisions that minimize negative impacts to wilderness character as required by The Wilderness Act of 1964. This course is free.

Course Format

This course integrates informational text, interactive practice activities, engaging videos, Learn More opportunities, and supplemental reference materials. Following the course, you will take a brief assessment requiring you to demonstrate your understanding of key course concepts. Upon successful completion of the assessment you will be awarded an electronic certificate of completion.

Course Schedule

This course is self-paced and integrates self-study allowing you flexibility in the time needed to complete the course. Within each course, you decide the order and progression you’d like to take, allowing you to revisit and review sections in greater depth as needed.

Course Chapters
  • Introduction to the Four Cornerstones for Wilderness Managers
  • Preserve Wilderness and Natural Conditions
  • Protect Wilderness Benefits
  • Provide and Use the Minimum Necessary
  • Manage Wilderness as a Whole

Learning Objectives

After completing this course, you should be able to:

  • Describe the Four Cornerstones for Wilderness Managers.
  • Distinguish between wildness (untrammeled) and natural conditions, and describe the positive and negative impacts of management actions that may preserve one while degrading the other (Preserve Wildness and Natural Conditions).
  • Identify the overall benefits of wilderness, those benefits presented in an individual wilderness, and how to protect them (Protect Wilderness Benefits).
  • Explain the concept of minimum requirements, the two-step process of determining if an administrative action is necessary, and the minimum activity (method or tool) necessary to achieve the action (Provide and Use the Minimum Necessary).
  • Describe wilderness as a singular resource made up of inseparable parts (Manage Wilderness as a Whole).

Estimated Completion Time

2 Hour/s


It is strongly recommended that you complete the free The Wilderness Act of 1964 course before beginning this course. Without a solid foundation in the Wilderness Act, you will not be able to get the most out of this course and could find the content confusing. Writing a Minimum Requirements Analysis and Evaluating a Minimum Requirements Analysis courses are also strongly recommended.

The Wilderness Act of 1964, Writing a Minimum Requirements Analysis, Evaluating a Minimum Requirements Analysis and other e-courses can be found at the Arthur Carhart National Wilderness Training Center.

Target Audience
  • Wilderness Managers

Write a Review

Arrow pointing upwards. Click this icon to go back to the top of the page.