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Congaree National Park, S.C.
In 1969, the Sierra Club launched a campaign to save the Congaree area from private development, which led to its eventual designation as a national park in 2003. It's a lucky thing someone intervened: An almost otherworldly biodiversity reigns within the park, with bobcats and feral pigs trawling the old-growth forest and a wealth of marine life, including alligators and turtles, swimming the Congaree and Wateree rivers.
(Photo: National Park Service)