Arizona Game and Fish Department

The Arizona Game and Fish Department may soon have the ability to land helicopters in wilderness areas within the Tonto National Forest. The aim is to manage populations of bighorn sheep. But, as Arizona Public Radio’s Ryan Heinsius reports, several conservation groups say the move will violate federal law.

On Sept. 3, 1964, President Lyndon Johnson signed the National Wilderness Preservation System Act. With the stroke of a pen, 9 million acres of federal land in the United States was designated as wilderness — with a capital “W.”

University of New Mexico

Wilderness areas represent the highest degree of protection the federal government grants to public lands. They’re managed for values of solitude, scenery, and natural habitat.