An inholding is privately owned
Private property
Private property is the right of persons and firms to obtain, own, control, employ, dispose of, and bequeath land, capital, and other forms of property. Private property is distinguishable from public property, which refers to assets owned by a state, community or government rather than by...

 land inside the boundary of a national park
National park
A national park is a reserve of natural, semi-natural, or developed land that a sovereign state declares or owns. Although individual nations designate their own national parks differently A national park is a reserve of natural, semi-natural, or developed land that a sovereign state declares or...

, national forest
United States National Forest
National Forest is a classification of federal lands in the United States.National Forests are largely forest and woodland areas owned by the federal government and managed by the United States Forest Service, part of the United States Department of Agriculture. Land management of these areas...

, state park
State park
State parks are parks or other protected areas managed at the federated state level within those nations which use "state" as a political subdivision. State parks are typically established by a state to preserve a location on account of its natural beauty, historic interest, or recreational...

, or similar publicly owned, protected area
Protected area
Protected areas are locations which receive protection because of their recognised natural, ecological and/or cultural values. There are several kinds of protected areas, which vary by level of protection depending on the enabling laws of each country or the regulations of the international...

. Inholdings result from private ownership of lands prior to the designation of the protected park or forest area, which then end up grandfathered within the legally designated boundary.

In the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

, the main causes of inholdings are checkerboarding
Checkerboarding (land)
Checkerboarding refers to a situation where land ownership is intermingled between two or more owners, resulting in a checkerboard pattern. Checkerboarding is prevalent in the Western United States due to its extensive use in railroad grants for western expansion, although it had its beginnings in...

 due to railroad land grants under the Pacific Railway Acts
Pacific Railway Acts
The Pacific Railroad Acts were a series of acts of Congress that promoted the construction of the transcontinental railroad in the United States through authorizing the issuance of government bonds and the grants of land to railroad companies. The Pacific Railroad Act of 1862 was the original act...

 beginning in 1862, homestead
Broadly defined, homesteading is a lifestyle of simple self-sufficiency.-Current practice:The term may apply to anyone who follows the back-to-the-land movement by adopting a sustainable, self-sufficient lifestyle. While land is no longer freely available in most areas of the world, homesteading...

 claims under the 1862 Homestead Act
Homestead Act
A homestead act is one of three United States federal laws that gave an applicant freehold title to an area called a "homestead" – typically 160 acres of undeveloped federal land west of the Mississippi River....

, and mining
Mining is the extraction of valuable minerals or other geological materials from the earth, from an ore body, vein or seam. The term also includes the removal of soil. Materials recovered by mining include base metals, precious metals, iron, uranium, coal, diamonds, limestone, oil shale, rock...

 claims patented under the General Mining Act of 1872
General Mining Act of 1872
The General Mining Act of 1872 is a United States federal law that authorizes and governs prospecting and mining for economic minerals, such as gold, platinum, and silver, on federal public lands...

, along with the more recent Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act
Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act
The Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act, commonly abbreviated ANCSA, was signed into law by President Richard M. Nixon on December 23, 1971, the largest land claims settlement in United States history. ANCSA was intended to resolve the long-standing issues surrounding aboriginal land claims in...

 of 1971. The railroad checkerboarding primarily affects national forests, while inholdings due to the other types of claims occur frequently within national parks and national forests throughout the western United States
Western United States
.The Western United States, commonly referred to as the American West or simply "the West," traditionally refers to the region comprising the westernmost states of the United States. Because the U.S. expanded westward after its founding, the meaning of the West has evolved over time...

. Over the last several decades, conservation groups
Conservation movement
The conservation movement, also known as nature conservation, is a political, environmental and a social movement that seeks to protect natural resources including animal, fungus and plant species as well as their habitat for the future....

 have lobbied the United States Congress
United States Congress
The United States Congress is the bicameral legislature of the federal government of the United States, consisting of the Senate and the House of Representatives. The Congress meets in the United States Capitol in Washington, D.C....

 to acquire inholdings especially within designated wilderness areas
Wilderness Act
The Wilderness Act of 1964 was written by Howard Zahniser of The Wilderness Society. It created the legal definition of wilderness in the United States, and protected some 9 million acres of federal land. The result of a long effort to protect federal wilderness, the Wilderness Act was signed...

, either by direct purchase or via land exchange which trades the inholding for other federal lands
Federal lands
Federal lands are lands in the United States for which ownership is claimed by the U.S. federal government.-Primary federal land holders:*Bureau of Land Management*United States Forest Service*United States Fish and Wildlife Service*National Park Service...

located outside of national parks or wilderness areas.

According to the Colorado-based Wilderness Land Trust, the development of wilderness inholdings has the following adverse impacts:
  • Fragmentation of pristine ecosystems and environmental damage such as air and water pollution, soil erosion, loss of solitude and disruption of wildlife.
  • Nonconforming uses such as aircraft landings and motor vehicle intrusions.
  • Degradation of the wilderness experience of visitors due to physical structures and human activities.
  • Conflicts between land owners and visitors, and public outcry associated with proposed development.
  • Complex land ownership patterns make managing wilderness more expensive and time consuming for land agency officials, particularly when there is controversy.
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