“Wilderness 50” Celebration


2014 marks the 50th anniversary of the signing of the Wilderness Act. In September of 1964 President Johnson signed into law the Wilderness Act, one of the most important pieces of legislation in the US regarding protection and preservation of Wilderness.

Wilderness 50 “The 50th Anniversary National Wilderness Planning Team (Wilderness50) is a growing coalition of federal agencies, non-profit organizations, academic institutions, and other wilderness user groups whose purpose is to plan and eventually implement local, regional, and national events and projects, specifically designed to elevate the profile of wilderness during the 50th anniversary celebration.”

One of their programs was to hold a photo contest and use the winning images as a part of their plans to inform people about the significance of the Wilderness Act.

More than 50 images were chosen and these will be displayed as large format prints in the Smithsonian Museum, in Washington DC starting in September!

I submitted several images to the competition and this image, here was chosen as an Honorable Mention in the People in Wilderness Category and will be used on signage for the various events and displayed in the museum.
Morning at Sahale Glacier Camp Sahale Glacier Camp in the Steven Mather Wilderness in North Cascades National Park, in Washington.

As a part of the process I was asked to submit a personal story about the image. Here it is:

“My connection with wilderness began when I was 16. I spent a month in the Sawtooth Wilderness in Idaho, learning how to backpack, climb and survive. The trip changed my life and encouraged me to continue. Treks along the Pacific Crest Trail and the Andes followed.

Then my life changed again and I was off on a different purpose. For almost 20 years I followed the light only to wind up in the darkness. And then I felt the wilderness call to me again, beckoning me back into her arms.

I had packed my old life in boxes and uncovering them produced an old hiking guide. I scoured it and found the most exciting sounding trip in there, recruited a few friends to accompany me and off we started.

I had forgotten what mileage and elevation gain portended and as we began our trip up to Sahale Camp. It slowly came back to me, what sweat and struggle were all about.

We finally made it to the camp well after dark and collapsed in our tent.

This image was captured the next morning. My life was changed anew; I had found a new purpose. Wilderness had rescued me again.”

I am excited and proud that any image of mine would be used to promote and protect wilderness!

9 thoughts on ““Wilderness 50” Celebration

  1. Congratulations to you! What an honor! This image is incredibly beautiful. I’ve never camped in that fashion – just family camping – but I’ve friends who manage to stay in the wilderness all by themselves and are so changed by the experience. “Then my life changed again and I was off on a different purpose. For almost 20 years I followed the light only to wind up in the darkness. And then I felt the wilderness call to me again, beckoning me back into her arms.” Wow…that statement can be applied to so many of us get on the corporate track only to remember who we truly are later on. Great post and congratulations again! We plan to visit DC sometime after September so I’ll look for your work!

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