Thursday, November 29, 2007
Landowner of the Day
Turner has amassed 2 million acres over the past two decades to become the largest private landowner in the country. He owns large chunks of land in 11 states, with most of his holdings in New Mexico, Nebraska, Montana and South Dakota, and is restoring buffalo, cutthroat trout, wolves, black-footed ferrets and other flora and fauna that filled the Plains before the West was won. —Nate Jenkins reporting in "Ted Turner's Land Purchases Questioned"
One of the interesting features of this "little" story is that, as was the case with George Soros' support for the Democrats, conservatives have become terribly concerned over how Ted Turner is spending his money. That's surprising, since it seems that all his acquisitions have the potential for being immensely profitable.
Some are worried that he wants to create a large wildlife refuge, turn it over to the federal government and reduce the property tax base.
To restore a species you must eat itWhat could be more conservative?
Turner's organizations also have been in discussions with the World Wildlife Fund and the World Conservation Union about conserving bison. The groups have expressed interest in developing a huge park where bison could once again roam the Great Plains.
Actually, Turner's spokesmen say, the driving force behind Turner's land purchases is the desire to make money. Turner's Vermejo Park Ranch in New Mexico, for example, offers weeklong elk hunting excursions at $12,000 a pop. He has also entered the restaurant business with gusto, opening more than 50 Ted's Montana Grill restaurants across the country that feature bison meat.
I've been seeing more buffalo meat lately on the supermarket shelves. If you're not averse to eating red meat, bison are lower in fat and friendlier to the environment than cattle.
Turner not only holds the largest chunk of land in private hands but also owns the largest herd of buffalo.