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The Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History has unveiled an epic photo exhibit called “Wilderness Forever: 50 Years of Protecting America’s Wild Places.” The exhibit features jury-selected images that perfectly capture the gripping beauty of America’s wildest natural spaces.

The exhibit celebrates the Wilderness Act, an integral element of the U.S.A’s conservation efforts that, since its adoption in 1964, has protected more than 109 million acres of American wilderness.

The exhibit was selected from more than 5,000 submissions from throughout the U.S. Many of the winning photos come from the stunning mountains and tundras of Alaska, the mossy mountain forests of the Pacific Coast, and the unique sandstone formations of the South-West – all regions worth exploring!

The exhibit will run through summer 2015.

More info: smithsonian.com | wilderness50th.org | Facebook (h/t: distractify)

Red Fox, Denali National Park, Alaska

Image credits: Dee Ann Pederson

Mountain Goat Kids, Mount Evans Wilderness, Colorado

Image credits: Verdon Tomajko

White Pocket, Paria Canyon-Vermilion Cliffs, Arizona

Image credits: Richard Ansley

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

Image credits: Robert Amuroso

Climbing the Summit Pyramid Of Sahale Mountain, Washington

Image credits: Ethan Welty

Bald Eagle, Glacier Bay Wilderness Area, Alaska

Image credits: David Bahr

Meadow of Wildflowers, Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming

Image credits: John Richter

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

Image credits: Scott Joshua Dere

Banner Peak Alpenglow, California

Image credits: Brad Goldpaint

Aurora Ridge Trail, Sol Duc Valley, Washington

Image credits: Pablo McCloud

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

Image credits: Jeff Rennicke

Alaska Range, Denali Wilderness In Alaska

Image credits: Tim Iken

Sandhill Cranes, Bosque Del Apache, New Mexico

Image credits: Diane McAllister

Snowy Meadow, Mount Hood Wilderness, Oregon

Image credits: Jarrod Castaign

Purple Sea Star, Olympic Wilderness, Washington

Image credits: Thomas Bancroft

Peak Fall Colors, Ouachita National Forest, Arkansas

Image credits: Laura Vu

American Alligator, Marjory Stoneman Douglas, Florida

Image credits: Jenna Van Kley

Sunset Paddle, Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness, Minnesota

Image credits: Dawn M. La Pointe

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