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With the 50th anniversary of the Wilderness Act taking place this year, there’s never been a better time to take a step back and appreciate all of the protected land the United States has to offer. Managed by the United States Department of Interior (DOI), mountain ranges, plains, rivers, lakes and canyons remain pristine and resplendent, hopefully, for generations to come. There are currently 58 national parks in the US under the DOI’s purview. Without the protections these locations enjoy and the fantastic work of the DOI, urban sprawl could easily have eliminated much of the natural wild lands we had, worsening endangerment of indigenous plants and animals and destroying our national heritage.
Thankfully, we still have the splendor of many untouched landscapes and the protected animals within it and the DOI has the pictures to prove it! Their Instagram account is positively filled with one breathtaking photo after another, depicting a huge variety of the areas and animals that they work so tirelessly to protect and sustain. Trust us, with over 1,300 posts to choose from, it was beyond challenging only picking 30 pictures.
We could all use more beauty, tranquility and nature in our day-to-day lives and with each post depicting a landscape more awe-inspiring than the last, this account is a must follow for nature lovers. It’s like taking a mini vacation to some idyllic vista with each post, all while never having to pack your hiking boots! You can still break out the trail mix though, because…yum.
The Milky Way over Arches National Park, Utah
Fall descending on Bering Land Bridge National Preserve, Alaska
A bison and her calf at the Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge, Colorado.
Uncle Tom’s Trail in Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming
Tranquil observation deck in Olympic National Park, Washington
St. Mary Falls in Glacier National Park, Montana
Tuolumne Meadows Wilderness Center in Yosemite National Park, California.
Sleepy Black Bear in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, bordering North Carolina and Tennessee.
Early Morning in Eagletail Mountains Wilderness, Arizona.
Tanalian Falls in Lake Clark National Park and Preserve, Alaska
Friendliest grizzly bear ever at Lake Clark National Park, Alaska
Kilauea Point Lighthouse in Kilauea Point National Wildlife Refuge, Hawaii
View from the Bright Angel Trail in the Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona
Clarence Canyon National Wildlife Refuge, Missouri
Baby sea turtle at Archie Carr National Wildlife Refuge, Florida
Migrating water fowl over Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge, New Mexico
Hiking in Canyonlands National Park, Utah
Beautiful bobcat in Shenandoah National Park, Virginia
Misty Mountains in Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming
Lightening show over Great Sand Dunes National Park, Colorado
Mama opossum with her brood in Wapanocca National Wildlife Refuge, Arkansas
Rowing along Lake Mead National Recreation Area, Arizona
Playful whale in Alaska Maritime National Wildlife Refuge, Alaska
Sunset over Bass Harbor Head Lighthouse in Acadia National Park, Maine
A mama and her owlets in Hanford Reach National Monument, Washington
Ancient Bristlecone Pine Tree in Great Basin National Park, Nevada.
North Umpqua Wild and Scenic River, Oregon
Yellow-crowned Night Heron taking flight in J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge, Florida
Belding’s ground squirrels talking to the hand in Malheur National Wildlife Refuge, Oregon
Majestic redwoods in Redwood National Park, California
Lead Image Credit: Parade.condenast.com