The National Park Service turned 100 years old in August of 2016, and with that milestone comes many great achievements. This is a given. No one can argue the necessity of preserving pieces of this great and vast country for future generations (no one worth listening to anyways). Though a select few National Parks had been in existence prior to the formation of the National Park service (Yellowstone in 1872, Mackinac National Park in 1875, etc) the Northeast's dear friend, Acadia National Park too was formed in 1916, making this year its centennial as well.
To mark this occasion, Rizzoli will soon release Acadia National Park, a large coffee table book featuring 150 color photographs by Tom Blagden, Jr. March will also see the New York publisher release America's Great National Forests, Wildernesses, & Grasslands, a 272 page photo book celebrating exactly what you might expect. We've been lucky enough to spend a few weeks with both. Highlights are as follows.
The first National Park to be dedicated east of the Mississippi, Acadia spans over 45,000 acres, two islands and a mainland peninsula of Maine's idyllic coastline. While much attention is given to the West's many rugged landscapes, Acadia exists as a haven for the entire Eastern seaboard. This new book, out 15 March, includes 150 images by professional nature photographer Tom Blagden Jr., revealing the region's impressive animal life and landscapes—from dense forests and granite mountains to craggy coastlines and dark night skies.
Yes, there is a difference between National Parks, Forests, Wildernesses, and Grasslands. The most obvious being that National Parks are managed by the Department of Interior and are to be preserved in entirety forever, while National Forests, Wilderness, and Grasslands are managed by the Department of Agriculture and allow such commercial endeavors as logging, camping, skiing, etc. (Read this, and this, for more specific differences.) Celebrating over a century of all of the above is the aforementioned book by Rizzoli, out 15 March as well, is divided into 7 regions—the East and Midwest, the South, the Southwest and Great Basin, the Southern Rockies, the Northern Rockies, California, and the Pacific Northwest and Alaska—with incredible nature photography by Tim Palmer accompanying texts by award-winning author Char Miller. With over 200 photographs, the sizable hardcover does well to capture the unique beauty of each region.
One important thing to note here is that while the influence of social media style photography can be seen everywhere from the recent redesign and art direction of Backpacker magazine to essentially anything Chris Burkard touches, you won't find any brightly clad people for scale or illuminated tents in the foreground here. Each of these two new books has been created by celebrated nature photographers with decades of experience and meant to inspire through natural beauty alone, not juxtaposition or photoshop wizardry. So, please enjoy the genuine-ness of each, without expecting such romantic, highly saturated nature porn.