Wilderness Study Areas Management Course of Study

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This course of study explores the management of wilderness study areas on Bureau of Land Management-managed land.




This course of study is designed to help Bureau of Land Management employees learn more about the management of wilderness study areas.

Course Schedule

This course of study is self-paced allowing you flexibility in the time needed to complete the modules. You decide the order and progression you’d like to take, allowing you to revisit and review sections in greater depth as needed. You may also complete only the modules you need, rather than the entire course of study. Elements of the course of study:

  • Informational text
  • Engaging videos
  • Real-life examples and case studies
  • Links to resource manuals and documents
  • Interactive practice activities
  • Informal assessment quizzes
  • Final assessments
  • Certificates of Completion for each module, as well as an overall Certificate of Completion for the Course of Study

Following each module, you will complete an assessment which requires you to demonstrate your understanding of key course concepts. Upon successful completion of the assessment, you will be awarded an electronic certificate of completion. If you successfully complete all 5 modules, you will be awarded an electronic course of study certificate of completion.

Course Modules

The modules included in this course of study are:

  • Module 1: What Is a Wilderness Study Area?
  • Module 2: General Policy Requirements for Managing a Wilderness Study Area
  • Module 3: What Is the Non-Impairment Standard?
  • Module 4: Evaluating the Impact of a Proposed Action on a Wilderness Study Area
  • Module 5: Monitoring

Course Objectives

After completing all five modules in this course of study, participants should be able to:

  1. Discuss what Wilderness Study Areas (WSAs) are and how they fit into BLM's mission; the key laws, processes, and management principles related to WSAs; and how WSAs differ from wilderness and lands with wilderness characteristics.
  2. Discuss the general policy requirements for managing WSAs, including those for permanent files, boundaries, land acquisitions, and monitoring. Guiding principles for WSA management are discussed.
  3. Discuss and explain how to apply the non-impairment standard and allowable exceptions.
  4. Discuss actions requiring wilderness evaluation, National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) analysis requirements, and the process to evaluate and document the evaluation of a proposed action inside a WSA.
  5. Discuss monitoring requirements, alternative schedules, and methods.


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