50 Wilderness Sites Across America
Sunrise over Long Pine in Everglades National Park (© Terry Eggers/Terry Eggers/Corbis)
An American Alligator in Everglades National Park (© Norbert Wu/Minden Pictures/Corbis)
Everglades National Park was named a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1979 (© Angelo Cavalli/Robert Harding World Imagery/Corbis)
Cypress tree trunks in wetland at Everglades National Park (© Raul Touzon/National Geographic Society/Corbis)
Flooded grasslands in the Everglades (© 145/Joe Fox/Ocean/Corbis)

Marjory Stoneman Douglas Wilderness, Everglades National Park

Tropical climates, pine rocklands, Florida panther

smithsonian.com

Location: Florida
Size: 1,400,000 acres
Year Designated: 1978
Fast Fact: Located within Florida’s famous Everglades National Park, the Marjory Stoneman Douglas Wilderness is the largest subtropical wilderness in the United States and the largest wilderness area of any kind east of the Rocky Mountains.

Within the Everglades National Park—the first park designated to protect an ecosystem as opposed to preserve beautiful scenery—lies a vast expanse of wilderness areas: nearly 86 percent of the park has been designated as wilderness.

The wilderness areas within the park have been dubbed the Marjory Stoneman Douglas Wilderness, and represent the largest wilderness area east of the Rocky Mountains. Within the area, nearly one-third of the land is submerged. Within those waters swim bottle-nosed dolphins, sea turtles, sharks, and manatees. On land, the elusive Florida panther wanders in search of food and shelter—today, its native habitat has been reduced to less than five percent of its original range.

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