The Land Report

Summer 2017

The Magazine of the American Landowner is an essential guide for investors, landowners, and those interested in buying or selling land. The award-winning quarterly is known for its annual survey of America's largest landowners, The Land Report 100.

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Page 90 of 131

S U M M E R 2 0 1 7 | The LandReport 89 LANDREPORT.COM Yet it's only when Kossler shares a second anecdote that the Turner Ranches' mission statement and its balance of commerce and conservation comes into focus. "A year ago, we had a catastrophic fire on the Z Bar Ranch in Kansas. It encompassed 450,000 acres and burned off 96 percent of the Z Bar. Our bison herd there is 800 cows and a complement of yearlings and breeding bulls. But we lost just six animals. Why so few? Because of our prairie dogs. By nature, prairie dogs overgraze. That's why so many ranchers consider them pests. They kill off perennial vegetation and leave bare ground and burrows. Which is why the bison went to the prairie dog town. They hunkered down where there was no grass to burn, and the fire blew right around them. It was hot and fast moving, and the losses could have been sky-high. But we manage for habitat, and on the Z Bar, that includes non- commodity species like prairie dogs," he says. Ultimately, The Land Report did not select Ted Turner as its 2017 Legacy Landowner for a single accomplishment, such as assem- bling the most diverse portfolio of private land nationwide or championing the bison and building the world's largest private herd. For that matter, it wasn't for a series of accomplishments. It was because of his attitude – "his incredible enthusiasm," to reiterate the phrase John Malone used. That enthusiasm has enabled him to impact millions on earth who don't know his household name, don't recognize his famous face, and aren't familiar with a single one of his accomplishments. "Ted has done more for humanity with a focus on the environment than anybody who has ever lived," says Mike Phillips. "Now, let's think about this for a moment. You can forget everybody that lived before 1850. Forget them all. No one who lived before 1850 counts because they weren't too terribly concerned about the humanization of the planet, the degradation of the planet through human activities. So we're only talking about contemporary folks. Then you think about Theodore Roosevelt or Jimmy Carter. They both did tremendous things, but they did so as public servants. You think about groups like The Nature Conservancy. They do beautiful work, but they're a member-based organization. So show me, find me, tell me one private individual who has done more for humanity with a focus on the environment besides Ted Turner," Phillips asks. And where does the impetus come from to make such an earth-changing impact on your fellow man? Taylor Glover volunteers the answer. "Bringing ecosystems back into balance by reintroducing native species like bison and rainbow trout is a virtuous cycle that excites Ted," he says. 2 0 1 7 L e g a c y L a n d o w n e r TURNER ENTERPRISES

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