We do not inherit the
earth from our ancestors,
we borrow it from
our children.
- Native American Wisdom

Saguaro's Wilderness

Nearly 80% of Saguaro National Park's 91,000 acres are federally-designated wilderness, and managing for wilderness values (such as naturalness, quiet, solitude, etc.) can be challenging for the National Park Service -- especially in light of the increasing demands being placed on the Park from a growing urban population.  Development along Park boundaries is threatening scenic viewsheds and night skies, and contributing to invasive species encroachment.

The preservation of wilderness values at Saguaro National Park was legislatively mandated by Congress in October, 1976 when 13,470 acres in the Tucson Mountain District and 57,930 acres in the Rincon Mountain District were formally designated as wilderness in accordance with the Wilderness Act of 1964.  The Wilderness Act established the National Wilderness Preservation System, in order to ensure that some lands in America would remain forever wild, and pristine, and to ". . . secure for the American people of present and future generations the benefits of an enduring resource of wilderness."  The 78% of Saguaro National Park that is protected as federally-designated wilderness preserves an outstanding example of the Sonoran Desert ecosystem, just minutes away from a major urban center.

Recently, Friends supported the first-ever high-elevation natural and cultural resource study in the Wilderness area of Saguaro National Park. The results from the three year survey were truly amazing! 20 springs were discovered, 17 undocumented native plans were discovered, 8 plants that had not been seen in over 100 years were found and 5 significant historic and prehistoric archaeological sites were discovered.

A uniquely American idea, wilderness is part of our heritage and passed as a legacy to our children.  Indispensable to the American past, the legacy that is wilderness will remain indispensable to the American future.

Learn more about the Saguaro Wilderness by checking out the Park's website at http://www.nps.gov/sagu/