Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

Shown Here:
Reported to House amended (10/12/1998)

Eastern Wilderness Act of 1998 - Directs the Secretaries of Agriculture and the Interior to: (1) study and inventory all Federal lands of 500 acres or more which are east of the 100th meridian and which may qualify as wilderness; (2) review those areas identified as having wilderness characteristics; and (3) report to the President their recommendation as to the suitability of each area for preservation as wilderness. Requires the President to advise the President of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives of his recommendations with respect to such areas. Provides for the management of such areas before and after designation as wilderness, requiring such areas to be devoted to recreational, scenic, scientific, educational, conservation, and historical use and prohibiting commercial enterprise and permanent roads within such areas (with specified exceptions, including the continuation of uses established before the designation). Authorizes continued access for private landowners whose land is surrounded by wilderness area.

Authorizes the appropriate Secretary to: (1) acquire State or privately owned land to establish a wilderness area if the owner consents and the acquisition is specifically authorized by the Congress; and (2) accept gifts or bequests of land within wilderness areas.

Requires, at the beginning of each congressional session, a joint report from the Secretaries to the President on the status of the wilderness system.