Geothermal/Lands with Wilderness Characteristics

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Geothermal Lands with Wilderness Characteristics

Lands with Wilderness Characteristics
Present, Potentially Affected

Section 2(c) of the Wilderness Act and Sections 201 and 202 of Federal Land Policy and Management Act (FLPMA) establish criteria for designating lands with Wilderness Characteristics (LWC). This designation carries out the “multiple use” clause in FLPMA to provide “solitude or primitive and unconfined recreation” to users. Wilderness Study Areas (WSA) designated by Congress or pending before Congress are not included in LWC’s. The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) conducts a Wilderness Characteristic Inventory Process on sections of land to evaluate whether or not an area qualifies as a LWC. Geothermal leasing is not allowed on LWC’s, therefore, check the Wilderness Characteristic Inventory for site updates.

Criteria for public lands to be designated as LWC:

  • Size: 5,000 roadless acres of continuous public lands or an area large enough to pursue preservation and be “untrammeled by man” must exist.
  • Naturalness: The pristine characteristics of the land are evident and only forces of nature have precluded the area.
  • Outstanding opportunities: The area provides unique circumstances where “solitude or primitive and unconfined recreation” exist.
  • Supplemental Values: “The area may also contain ecological, geological, or other features of scientific, educational, scenic or historical value.”

Note: If the size criteria is not met, the area cannot be designated as LWC. Bureau of Land Management-Lands with Wilderness Characteristics

Lands with Wilderness Characteristics Impacts & Mitigation

Geothermal leasing is not allowed on LWC. Before site selection, check the Wilderness Characteristic Inventory for land listings and whether or not the area qualifies for LWC designation.