In 1971, the Maryland State Legislature passed the Wildlands Protection Act. Under this law, the legislature can protect certain publicly owned areas from logging or other incursions, and thus preserve them for future generations. To date, 29 Maryland Wildlands have been so designated.
The Maryland Wildlands Preservation System is the state's counterpart to the federal government's National Wilderness Preservation System, and consists of all those properties owned and managed by the Maryland Department of Natural Resources which are designated as State wildlands by the Maryland General Assembly. Each tract of land designated as a Maryland Wildland “overlaps” all or part of a state park, forest, wildlife management area or other DNR land unit (i.e., they are not "stand alone" units).
In all, there are now 43,773 acres (177.14 km2) of Maryland Wildlands in the state.
List of Maryland Wildlands
- Within the Savage River State Forest
- Within the Green Ridge State Forest
- Within Rocky Gap State Park
- Within North Point State Park
- Within Gunpowder Falls State Park
- Within the Soldiers Delight Natural Environmental Area
- Within the Pocomoke River State Forest and/or Pocomoke River State Park
- “DNR Owned Land Acreage Report, 2008”; Maryland Department of Natural Resources.
- The Maryland Wildlands Preservation System webpage at the Maryland DNR Website