Mount McKinley and Wonder Lake, Denali National Park, Alaska
Gelatin silver print
7 3/8 x 9 inches
Courtesy David H. Arrington Collection, Midland, Texas
© 2010 The Ansel Adams Publishing Rights Trust
By the 1960s, Ansel Adams was firmly established as an influential cultural figure and was invited to meet with a succession of American presidents to discuss environmental issues. He was a prolific letter writer and was sought after for endorsements, lectures, interviews, and photographs to be used for fundraising. Adams worked closely with the Wilderness Society director William Turnage in the late 1970s in the national efforts to protect Alaskan wildlands and sent a print of his photograph Mount McKinley and Wonder Lake, Denali National Park, Alaska to President James Earl Carter. In December 1980, just before leaving office, Carter signed the largest land preservation act in history, protecting more than 104 million acres in Alaska. That same year, he awarded Adams the National Medal of Freedom for his lifetime of work on behalf of conservation.