Pines and Palm Trees, Big Cypress National Preserve, Florida, 1996
Photograph by Raymond Gehman
Sunset bathes Florida's Big Cypress National Preserve in an orange glow. The preserve, 720,000 acres (291,375 hectares) of primordial swamp on Florida's southwest coast, is home to the elusive Florida panther and an impressive diversity of birds, among other unique fauna and flora. But human development in and around the area threatens to send this fragile ecosystem into a tailspin.
(Text adapted from and photo shot on assignment for, but not published in, "In Big Cypress Country," March/April 1997, National Geographic Traveler magazine)