As we enter the holiday season, Americans can help protect our nation’s national parks, forests, and public lands by snapping photos highlighting their extraordinary grandeur, according to the U.S. Departments of the Interior and Agriculture.
A new photo contest announced recently by Interior agencies—including the National Park Service, Bureau of Land Management, Bureau of Reclamation and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service—and the USDA Forest Service will benefit parks and other public lands in several ways.
“Snapping a photo of your favorite landscape or fishing hole, you can share memories and help preserve these magnificent public lands,” Deputy Secretary of the Interior Lynn Scarlett noted. “Through this nationwide photo contest, participants will capture millions of memories of their experiences at parks and other public lands.”
The “Share the Experience” photo contest is sponsored by the National Park Foundation, a Congressionally-authorized foundation and official partner of the National Park Service, and CASIO. It continues through Dec. 31, 2006. Viewers can browse a photo gallery of entries already submitted at www.sharetheexperience.org.
The grand prize-winning photo will grace the front of the “America the Beautiful—The National Parks and Federal Recreational Lands Pass,” a new pass currently under development that will provide access to all participating federal land management agency sites where entrance and standard amenity fees are charged. The new pass will replace the Golden Eagle Passport and National Parks Pass and other federal recreational lands passes. More than 80 percent of pass revenue will help fund facilities and services where the pass was purchased and support vital federal lands projects.
The new pass will be available at federal recreation land management entrance stations, ranger stations, visitor centers and some agency offices starting January 2007 and will be valid for 12 months from the date of purchase. Previously issued passes will remain valid until they expire. Site-specific, regional and age-specific passes will continue. For more information about federal recreation lands and current passes, visit www.recreation.gov.
Amateur photographers can enter up to three photos taken at any of America’s federal recreation lands in either of two categories: the Federal Recreation Lands Pass category and the Family Fun category. The winning photo in the first category will be displayed on the front of the 2008 Federal Recreation Lands Pass. The judging criteria for the winning photo include creativity, visual appeal and ability to show the diversity and richness of America’s lands. Winning photos in the Family Fun category will award photos that show families enjoying federal recreation sites, have visual appeal, and include an unexpected perspective.
More information on the “Share the Experience” photo contest and prizes can be found at www.sharetheexperience.org.