The Tetons turn an impossible shade of salmon in sunrise light. The way a grizzly raises her head to sniff the wind brings to mind not a ferocious bear, but your Labrador retriever. The rising sun behind Bush Key in the Dry Tortugas silhouettes thousands of Sooty terns in flight. The brown eye of a bighorn ram follows you warily. The wild is full of pictures.
It has been my privilege, over the past forty years, to make the images in these galleries. The experiences I have had in making them are beyond value. But the image is only a small slice of the total experience. For neither film nor pixils can convey what it is to make eye contact with a bull moose, or smell the wind off a glacier, or peer over the heart-stopping drop behind Delicate Arch. The process always transcends the product.
Nonetheless, these images represent a personal vision of the American wild. They are made only on public land and only in places that have been protected with the idea of maintaining the natural landscape - our National Parks, State Parks, and Wilderness areas. Photographs like these are generally not possible where there is grazing, logging, mining, dammed rivers, polluted air and, in the case of wildlife, hunting. It is fitting and proper that these places exist. In the future, as the opportunity for personal seclusion and adventure diminishes, the need for them will increase. I hope they will be a reminder of the values that are compromised when development in the present closes out opportunities to experience wildness in the future.