“We’re delighted to partner with The Tennessee Magazine to help us celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Natural Areas Preservation Act,” says Roger McCoy, director of the Division of Natural Areas. “Since Gov. Winfield Dunn signed this vital legislation in 1971, biologists with the division have identified a number of important sites the act now protects. Along with allowing for passive recreation, state natural areas protect imperiled plants and animals — some of which are found nowhere else in the world — and provide visitors a glimpse of our state’s amazing natural diversity.”
Guest judges Lacy Atkins, an award-winning photographer, and David Pineros, Division of Natural Areas natural heritage biologist, helped our staff select the winners.
“All the photographs in the contest show the appreciation Tennesseans have toward nature and the amazing diversity of landscapes and species in the state. Seeing this response from the community to celebrate our Natural Areas encourages us to continue working for the conservation of our natural heritage,” says Pineros. “It was especially moving to review the Junior category as the mere thought of having young Tennesseans picking up cameras to record their natural environment is a breath of fresh air and a window for a brighter future in these challenging times.”
In a first for the Shutterbug contest, a Best of Show was recognized. “The photograph of Ozone Falls by J.C. Jones of Hermitage has incredible force evoking the wild and scenic land formations of Tennessee,” Pineros says of the overall winner.
We thank everyone who sent photographs for the contest. In this online exclusive, you can view additional images recognized as finalists.
Professional Shutterbug Winners
Adult Shutterbug Winners
Junior Shutterbug Winners