To celebrate 50 years of the Wilderness Act of 1964—an act that created a legal definition for the term “wilderness” and has provided protection for over 109 million acres of US land—the Smithsonian has launched the Wilderness Forever Photo Contest. Over 5,000 entries have been submitted to this beautiful contest, documenting the gorgeous landscapes and wildlife across the nation.

“Red fox, Alaska”. A Red Fox frolicking in the fall colors of Denali National Park and Preserve, Alaska. (Photo by Dee Ann Pederson/Smithsonian Wilderness Forever Photo Contest)

“White Pocket, Arizona”. Colorful twisted petrified sand dunes of White Pocket tower over Paria Canyon-Vermilion Cliffs Wilderness in Arizona. (Photo by Richard Ansley/Smithsonian Wilderness Forever Photo Contest)

“Brown bear, Alaska”. A brown bear found in Katmai National Park and Preserve in Alaska holds a freshly caught salmon in its mouth. (Photo by Robert J. Amoruso/Smithsonian Wilderness Forever Photo Contest)

“Mountain Goats, Colorado”. A herd of mountain goats huddle together on top of Mount Evans, Colorado during a lightning storm. (Photo by Verdon Tomajko/Smithsonian Wilderness Forever Photo Contest)

“Boundary Waters, Minnesota”. A lone paddler watches the sun set upon the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness, Minn. (Photo by Dawn M. LaPointe/Smithsonian Wilderness Forever Photo Contest)

“Olympic peninsula, Washington”. An inviting path winds around the Aurora Ridge Trail in Sol Duc Valley, Olympic Wilderness, Wash. (Photo by Pablo McLoud/Smithsonian Wilderness Forever Photo Contest)

“Alaska Range, Alaska”. Wintry peaks of the Alaska Range are reflected in a pristine pool of water in the high tundra. The photographer, Tim Aiken, is 18 years old. (Photo by Tim Aiken/Smithsonian Wilderness Forever Photo Contest)

“Milky Way, Oregon”. The Milky Way sparkles over Second Beach in the Olympic Wilderness, Wash. (Photo by Joe LeFevre/Smithsonian Wilderness Forever Photo Contest)

HONORABLE MENTION, SCENIC LANDSCAPE, PRO: Bald Cypress Dome, Cardinal bromeliads (Tillandsia fasciculata Sw.). Cypress Swamp, Marjory Stoneman Douglas Wilderness in Florida. By Bill Lea, Franklin, North Carolina: “The stark quiet combined with the stoic tree trunks created a cathedral-like atmosphere—it was definitely a spiritual journey.” (Bill Lea, all rights reserved)

HONORABLE MENTION, SCENIC LANDSCAPE, AMATEUR: Mt. Whitney Moonrise, John Muir Wilderness in California. By Nolan Nitschke, Bishop, California: “At 14,505 feet in elevation, the setting sun and the full moon created a unique combination of warm and cool tones.” (Nolan Nitschke, all rights reserved)

HONORABLE MENTION, SCENIC LANDSCAPE, PRO: Snowy Meadow, Mount Hood Wilderness in Oregon. By Jarrod Castaing, Sydney, NSW, Australia: “As the sun began to rise and illuminate the lenticular cloud above, all thoughts of frostbite quickly vanished as I captured my very own winter wonderland.” (Jarrod Castaing, all rights reserved)

WINNER, PEOPLE IN WILDERNESS, PRO: Yellow Poplar Trees, Joyce Kilmer-Slickrock Wilderness in North Carolina. By Bill Lea, Franklin, North Carolina: “Breathing in the fresh air, finding beautiful patches of large-flowered trilliums, and standing among 400-year-old giants never ceases to provide a thrill.” (Bill Lea, all rights reserved)

HONORABLE MENTION, PEOPLE IN WILDERNESS, PRO: Keyhole on Longs Peak, Rocky Mountain National Park Wilderness in Colorado. By Ethan Welty, Boulder, Colorado: “People interacting with the landscapes of the wilderness provide an endless supply of new photographic opportunities.” (Ethan Welty, all rights reserved)

WINNER, PEOPLE IN WILDERNESS, AMATEUR: Sunset Paddle, Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness in Minnesota. By Dawn M. LaPointe, Hermantown, Minnesota: “Mother Nature is the master artist; I am a messenger.” (Dawn M. LaPointe, all rights reserved)

MOST INSPIRATIONAL MOMENT, HONORABLE MENTION, PRO: Climbing the Summit Pyramid of Sahale Mountain, Stephen Mather Wilderness in Washington. By Ethan Welty, Boulder, Colorado: “My friend Kevin, in the lead, tugged us forward through the soup. Suddenly the clouds parted, revealing a solitary rock spire.” (Ethan Welty, all rights reserved)

HONORABLE MENTION, PEOPLE IN WILDERNESS, PRO: Lake Ann Reflection, Mount Baker Wilderness in Washington. By Ethan Welty, Boulder, Colorado: “Contrary to all appearances, my leaping friend Yoav—emboldened by the presence of a camera—made the jump to dry land.” (Ethan Welty, all rights reserved)

HONORABLE MENTION, PEOPLE IN NATURE, PRO: Fossil Cave, Lava Beds Wilderness in California. By David E. Bunnell, Angels Camp, California: “Just before I captured this image, a brilliant sunbeam pierced the small opening and produced the hotspot on the wall.” (David E. Bunnell, all rights reserved)

WILDLIFE WINNER, PRO: Bald Eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus). Glacier Bay Wilderness Area in Alaska. By David Bahr, Nederland, Colorado: “Progress was slow, but when the bird finally arrived at the rocky shore, it was able to hop out of the water carrying its lunch. Although stunned and soaking wet, the eagle had somehow managed to hang onto its meal.” (David Bahr, all rights reserved)

To see more images, vote for your favorite, and learn more about the contest, visit the Smithsonian’s website.

H/t: Design You Trust

Source: Distractify



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