Wilderness Act Photo Contest Awards Prizes to Boy Scouts for Photos of Olympic National Forest

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Sponsored by the Olympic National Forest and the Friends of L. Ron Hubbard two Boy Scouts were announced as the winners of the "Camp Parsons Wilderness 50 Photography Contest" winning prizes worth over $2,000 for their photographs of Olympic National Forest Wilderness in commemoration of the 50th Anniversary of the Wilderness Act.

The contest was inspired when a series of 12 images taken of Olympic National Forest Wilderness Areas by 13 year old Eagle Scout L. Ron Hubbard in 1924 were presented to Olympic National Forest

Camp Parsons, one of the oldest Boy Scout Camps in the United States along with Olympic National Forest and the Friends of L. Ron Hubbard Foundation presented prizes to winners of the "Camp Parsons Wilderness 50 Photography Contest" in commemoration of the 50th Anniversary of the Wilderness Act, a law passed in 1964 setting aside an initial 9.1 million acres of federal land as wilderness for the use and benefit of the American people.

For the 2014 season at High Adventure Base Camp Parsons Boy Scouts from across NW Washington could take up to three (3) digital photographs within the five Wilderness areas in the Olympic National Forest: Buckhorn Wilderness, Colonel Bob Wilderness, Mount Skokomish Wilderness, the Brothers Wilderness and Wonder Mountain Wilderness.

First Place winner was 15 yr old Eagle Scout Austin Ulfers, of troop 438 in Bellevue, Washington and runner up Kaeden Brinkman, 11 yr old Tenderfoot of troop 600 also from Bellevue took home prizes totaling over $2,000 between them. Eagle Scout Austin Ulfers was the first place winner for his photograph of Buckhorn Wilderness and Kaeden won the runner up prize for taking a series of stunning images of Silver Lake. Members of troop 483 and 600 were present with the families of the winners representatives from Camp Parsons, Olympic National Forest and the Friends of L. Ron Hubbard Foundation.

The contest was inspired when a series of 12 images taken of Olympic National Forest Wilderness Areas by 13 year old Eagle Scout L. Ron Hubbard in 1924 were presented to Olympic National Forest Supervisor Ms. Reta Laford, "When I first saw these historic photographs it was very exciting, there was a picture of a young Boy Scout L. Ron Hubbard who was ahead of his time, taking pictures of the scenic views of the Olympic National Forest Wilderness areas. These pictures were too precious not to take advantage of and share with others and the idea of a photo contest came about to connect today's youth with the Wilderness for the next 50 years."

Camp Parsons Director, Ken McEdwards stated "This contest has highlighted the relationship between the Olympic National Forest and Camp Parsons and the priceless beauty and expanse of our wilderness that has been enjoyed by Camp Parsons Scouts for almost 100 years. The hikes that Scouts did almost a century ago are the same hikes taken today in our popular high adventure program."

Washington Representative of the Friends of L. Ron Hubbard Foundation Mr. Chris Finn was able to research the locations of these photographs with the help of Mr. Roger Beckett of the highly skilled volunteer organization Olympic Mountain Rescue. Mr. Finn stated, "with Roger's expertise we were able to pinpoint the locations of the photographs taken by L. Ron Hubbard and the hikes Camp Parsons Scouts took in 1924 through the Brothers and Buckhorn Wilderness to Tubal Cain Mine. These are altitudes of over 5,000 feet and similar to what contest winners Austin Ulfers and Kaeden Brinkman would have hiked to capture their winning photographs of the Olympic National Forest Wilderness Areas."

The winning photographs can be viewed on the Olympic National Forest Website address: http://www.fs.usda.gov/detail/olympic/specialplaces/?cid=stelprd3816871

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Louis Ricketts

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