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Wilderness Forever
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The Wilderness Act, a cornerstone of America’s conservation laws, marks its 50th anniversary September 3, 2014. The act established the National Wilderness Preservation System that represents America’s most wild and pristine federally protected lands. Today, these lands encompass 758 wilderness areas covering more than 109 million acres in 44 states and Puerto Rico. Together, they represent the largest, most highly protected body of wild lands in the country.

To celebrate this important anniversary, the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History has opened the photography exhibition, “Wilderness Forever: 50 Years of Protecting America’s Wild Places,” which runs through summer 2015. Presented in collaboration with Nature’s Best Photography and Wilderness50, the exhibit features juried selections from over 5,000 entries across the country. See a map of where these photos were taken here.

These award-winning images, captured by professional, student and amateur photographers, reveal America as you've never seen it before — wild, untouched and free. Located on the National Mall, the museum is open from 10 am to 5:30 pm, every day except for Christmas Day.

The exhibition is located on the second floor of the museum.

This exhibition is made possible through the generous support of:

SMITHSONIAN
NATURE’S BEST PHOTOGRAPHY
WINDLAND SMITH RICE FUND


Official Printing and Paper Sponsor

EPSON


Supporting Sponsor

PANASONIC 


Federal Agencies 

BUREAU OF LAND MANAGEMENT

FISH AND WILDLIFE SERVICE

FOREST SERVICE

NATIONAL PARK SERVICE


Organizations and Foundations

BACK COUNTRY HORSEMEN OF AMERICA

ESRI

GREAT OLD BROADS FOR WILDERNESS

NEW MEXICO MUSEUM OF

NATURAL HISTORY AND SCIENCE

PEW CHARITABLE TRUSTS

SIERRA CLUB

SOCIETY FOR WILDERNESS STEWARDSHIP

THE WILDERNESS SOCIETY

WILDERNESS INSTITUTE

WILDERNESS LAND TRUST

For more information about other exhibitions at the museum, as well as special programming and related events, please visit mnh.si.edu.

For media inquiries about republishing these images, please contact Ryan Lavery at laveryr@si.edu.

Smithsonian Channel Presents

Premiering on September 7 at 9 pm, this special Wilderness-themed episode of "Aerial America" provides a bird's eye view of some of America's most spectacular wilderness areas while weaving an an inspiring tale about the people, events and places that made the Wilderness Act possible. Learn more.