Smithsonian Exhibition and TV Special Showcase Wonders of Wilderness Lands, Celebrate 50th Anniversary of Landmark Legislation

"Wilderness Forever" Photography Exhibition

September 2014 will mark 50 years since the passage of the Wilderness Act-one of America's most successful and enduring pieces of conservation legislation. To celebrate this milestone, Wilderness50, Nature's Best Photography, Esri, and the Smithsonian Institution will showcase an exhibition of juried photography highlighting the beauty, diversity, and longevity of America's wilderness. The exhibition, titled "Wilderness Forever: 50 Years of Protecting America's Wild Places," opens September 3, 2014 at the Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History in Washington, D.C. and will run until summer 2015.

Winning photographs, announced at the beginning of March 2014, were selected from over 5000 public entries submitted nationwide. The over 50images are displayed as large-format prints in the nation's most-visited museum, which welcomes more than 8 million visitors each year.

In addition to the photographs, the exhibition includes interactive story maps that are also publicly available online:

  • Wilderness in Context: geographically provides vital wilderness information about size, remoteness, climate, and terrain.
  • Explore the Photographs: a delightful way to enjoy exquisite wilderness photography across the American landscape.

Visitors can learn more about the exhibition and vote on their favorite photos at

Aerial America Wilderness Episode

On Sunday, September 7, 2014, Smithsonian Channel will broadcast the 60-minute premier of "Aerial America: Wilderness." Part of the Smithsonian Channel's popular Aerial America series, "Aerial America: Wilderness" provides a bird's eye view of some of America's most spectacular wilderness areas while weaving an inspiring tale about the people, events and places that made the landmark Wilderness Act possible. Check your local listings for broadcast times.

Host an "Aerial America: Wilderness" house party in your community sometime in September or October.

You will be provided with an advance DVD copy of the "Aerial America: Wilderness" for showing on your TV at home or at a public showing in your community.


WHO: Friends, family, colleagues, Smithsonian Channel and you!
WHAT: Wilderness Act 50th Anniversary Celebration House Party
WHEN: Anytime in September or October
WHERE: Your house!

We recommend you allow for about two hours for your house party. This will allow time for socializing. See the sample house party agenda below.

  • 10-15 mins -- Welcome, mingle and short introduction
  • 60 mins -- Watch the Smithsonian Channel special Wilderness Aerial America episode.
  • 10-20 mins -- Discussion about the show.
  • 5 mins -- Thank you, wrap-up, social and mingling time.