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21 of the Best Wilderness Photos From Smithsonian’s Photo Contest Celebrating 50 Years of Protecting America’s Wildlife

Fifty years ago, the US adopted the Wilderness Act, which has since protected over 109 million acres of American wilderness. To celebrate this milestone, the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History has revealed a photo exhibit entitled “Wilderness Forever: 50 Years of Protecting America’s Wild Places.”

The exhibit is comprised of photographs selected by judges for successfully capturing the essence, power and beauty of wild America. The chosen photos came from more than 5,000 submissions from artists and photographers nationwide. Like the people who took them, these photos span the entire country, from Alaska to New York, from Minnesota to Florida.

You can see the rest of the photos and vote for your favorite on the contest page. The exhibit runs through summer 2015 and each month, the photograph with the most votes will be highlighted as that month’s winner.

Read more at http://wilderness.smithsonian.com/vote/vote-180952419/#CxcD5W7tP8sudmlB.99

Red Fox, Denali National Park, Alaska

smithsonian- Red Fox, Denali National Park, Alaska
Image credit: Dee Ann Pederson

White Pocket, Paria Canyon-Vermilion Cliffs, Arizona

smithsonian- White Pocket, Paria Canyon-Vermilion Cliffs, Arizona
Image credit: Richard Ansley

Meadow of Wildflowers, Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming

smithsonian- Meadow of Wildflowers, Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming
Image credit: John Richter

Milky Way over Second Beach, Olympic Wilderness, Washington

smithsonian- Milky Way over Second Beach, Olympic Wilderness, Washington
Image credit: Joe LeFevre

Brown Bear, Katmai Wilderness, Katmai National Park and Preserve, Alaska

smithsonian- Brown Bear, Katmai Wilderness, Katmai National Park and Preserve, Alaska
Image credit: Robert Amuroso

Sunset Paddle, Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness, Minnesota

smithsonian- Sunset Paddle, Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness, Minnesota
Image credit: Dawn M. La Pointe

Mountain Goat Kids, Mount Evans Wilderness, Colorado

smithsonian- Mountain Goat Kids, Mount Evans Wilderness, Colorado
Image credit: Verdon Tomajko

Aurora Ridge Trail, Sol Duc Valley, Washington

smithsonian- Aurora Ridge Trail, Sol Duc Valley, Washington
Image credit: Pablo McCloud

Alaska Range, Denali Wilderness In Alaska

smithsonian- Alaska Range, Denali Wilderness In Alaska
Image credit: Tim Iken

Banner Peak Alpenglow, California

smithsonian- Banner Peak Alpenglow, California
Image credit: Brad Goldpaint

American Alligator, Marjory Stoneman Douglas, Florida

smithsonian- American Alligator, Marjory Stoneman Douglas, Florida
American Alligator, Marjory Stoneman Douglas, Florida
Image credit: Jenna Van Kley

Bald Eagle, Glacier Bay Wilderness Area, Alaska

smithsonian- Bald Eagle, Glacier Bay Wilderness Area, Alaska
Image credit: David Bahr

Happy Valley, Oregon

smithsonian- Happy Valley, Oregon
Image credit: Rodney Lough, Jr.

Snowy Meadow, Mount Hood Wilderness, Oregon

smithsonian- Snowy Meadow, Mount Hood Wilderness, Oregon
Image credit: Jarrod Castaign

Aurora Borealis Over Honeymoon Rock, Apostle Islands National Lakeshore, Wisconsin

smithsonian- Aurora Borealis Over Honeymoon Rock, Apostle Islands National Lakeshore, Wisconsin
Image credit: Jeff Rennicke

Climbing the Summit Pyramid Of Sahale Mountain, Washington

smithsonian- Climbing the Summit Pyramid Of Sahale Mountain, Washington
Image credit: Ethan Welty

Sandhill Cranes, Bosque Del Apache, New Mexico

smithsonian- Sandhill Cranes, Bosque Del Apache, New Mexico
Image credit: Diane McAllister

Peak Fall Colors, Ouachita National Forest, Arkansas

smithsonian- Peak Fall Colors, Ouachita National Forest, Arkansas
Image credit: Laura Vu

Snowy Owl, Otis Pike Fire Island High Dune Wilderness Area, New York

smithsonian- Snowy Owl, Otis Pike Fire Island High Dune Wilderness Area, New York
Image credit: Scott Joshua Dere

Purple Sea Star, Olympic Wilderness, Washington

smithsonian- Purple Sea Star, Olympic Wilderness, Washington
Image credit: Thomas Bancroft

Fading Sunset over the Watchman, Zion Wilderness Utah

smithsonian- Fading Sunset over the Watchman, Zion Wilderness Utah
Image credit: Greg Tucker

   
 
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