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Wilderness Forever Smithsonian Exhibition

SIGNED INTO LAW in 1964 by President Lyndon B. Johnson, the Wilderness Act was a triumph for all who enjoy the open landscapes of America and the natural heritage they represent. Today, more than 100 million acres are protected by the National Wilderness Preservation System to ensure these areas remain ecologically sound and environmentally pristine and for future generations. In 2014, the Wilderness Act will reach its Golden Anniversary. In tribute to this milestone, Wilderness50
a coalition of government agencies, nonprofit groups, foundations, and other supporters—have joined together to celebrate the 50-year mark through numerous educational events, including the "Wilderness Forever" nationwide photography competition and print exhibition at the Smithsonian.

About the Photo Competition: From May to September 2013, the Wilderness50 coalition, distinguished panel of judges (see list below), the Smithsonian Institution, and the team at Nature’s Best Photography invited photographers at all levels of experience to enter the historic "Wilderness Forever" photography competition. This was a call for entries for the best photos and personal experiences within America’s protected wilderness areas (see the official list link at top, right). There were four contest categories: Most Inspirational Moment, People in Wilderness, Scenic Landscape, and Wildlife. The Judging Panel selected an overall Grand Prize, and a Pro, Amateur, and Student winner and honorable mentions in each of the four categories.

About the Smithsonian Exhibition:

Open through summer 2015

The Grand Prize, 12 category winners, and a selection of 50 honorable mention photos will be displayed in a print exhibition at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History, one of the most widely respected and highly visited museums in the world. The category winners are also published in the 2014 Spring / Summer edition of Nature's Best Photography. See a gallery of the winners in the exhibition on Facebook: www.facebook.com/naturesbestphotography.org
Questions? wilderness@naturesbestphotography.com

Contest Judging Panel: 
Adina LoBiondo: Photo Editor, Sierra magazine
Bob Wick: Photographer, BLM (© photo above right)
Brendan McCabe: Photo Editor, Smithsonian magazine
Steve Freligh and Charles Veatch: Directors, Nature's Best                Photography magazine
Susan Whitmore: Communications Director, U.S. Public Lands        Conservation, The Pew Charitable Trusts

Exhibtion Collaborators: This historic exhibition was developed in collaboration with Nature’s Best Photography, the Sierra Club, Wilderness50, and the Wilderness Society.

Contest Advisors: 
Charles Chen: Exhibits Specialist, 
   Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History
Daniel Cole: GIS Coordinator, Smithsonian Institution 
Lisa Eidson Ronald: Wilderness 50 Media / Publicity Chair
Elizabeth Jones: Writer, Office of Exhibits, 
National Museum of Natural History
Matthew Kirby: Washington Representative, Sierra Club
Jennifer Stephens; Director of Marketing, Wilderness Society



Click to see the list of U.S. wilderness areas. 



U.S. Bureau of Land Management

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
U.S. Forest Service

U.S. National Park Service


Back Country Horsemen
of America


Great Old Broads for Wilderness

New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science  

Pew Charitable Trusts 

Nature’s Best Photography 

Sierra Club

Smithsonian Institution

Society for Wilderness Stewardship 

The Wilderness Institute

The Wilderness Land Trust

The Wilderness Society