impacts on land and wildlife. In both cases, however, I saw that the frontier was very much alive across the West.

But the frontier was people too: archaeologists, environmentalists, loggers, tour guides, river runners, ranchers, retirees, artists, scientists, government employees, writers, miners, photographers, and many others, each engaged in their own way in that meeting-line between nature and culture.

The trouble was in 1988 I wasn't seeing this new frontier in photography books, gallery shows, or magazine spreads. Instead, two clich├ęd black-and-white visions of the West still dominated the public imagination: (1) unsmiling cowboys perpetually riding into the sunset; and (2) Ansel Adams-inspired pretty pictures of a human-less wilderness. The vibrant, diverse and peopled West I had come to know was nowhere to be seen. That's why the idea of spending 1990 photographing the modern frontier struck hard. It was an opportunity to be novel and creative, I thought. But I wasn't a professional photographer! It didn't matter. The idea had me by the throat, so I bought a medium-format Bronica camera and hit the road during the centennial year, weaving multiple trips across the region around my day job in the basement of the library.

When I was done, I called Wallace Stegner. In the fall of 1991, while visiting the Bay Area, I decided to look him up. I called Information. Yes, said the operator, we have a phone number for Wallace Stegner. Impetuously, I dialed it. He answered! I told him my idea about the photography book, which I happened to have with me. "Could I come over," I asked? He said I could and gave me directions. I drove right to his house and then spent two inspiring hours with him in his study, going over the images. We talked about Turner's thesis, about growing up western, and about the modern challenges confronting the region. When we finished looking and talking, I asked him if he would write a Foreword for the book, and gulped. He said he would. And six  months later it arrived

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