Ted Turner probably deserves his nicknames. “Daddy Greenbucks” is what Mr. Turner is called by the environmental groups to which he gives gigantic sums of greenbacks, according to a recent expose by Audrey Hudson of The Washington Times. Mrs. Hudson reported that many of these beneficiaries of Mr. Turner’s generosity don’t have the spine, or at least the wallet, to criticize him for activities that would otherwise have them rushing to the barricades and jumping into the trees.
Mrs. Hudson noted that, as the United States’ largest private landowner (1.8 million acres in 10 states), Mr. Turner is sensibly making efforts to earn revenue from his ranches. In Mr. Turner’s case, that includes running exclusive big-game hunts, including bison hunts that cost $10,500 per hunter; producing and marketing buffalo meat and drilling for natural gas in a pristine area in New Mexico.
“Daddy Greenbucks” Turner has also made efforts to improve his land. So that he could better enjoy the view of a mountain range reflected in his trout pond, Mr. Turner reportedly ordered bulldozers to “shave” the topmost 10 feet off a Montana ridge. On another occasion, Mr. Turner apparently attempted to improve the odds of his myopic big-game hunters by erecting an electrified, East Berlin-style fence on the border of his Snowcrest ranch in Montana. While inspecting a small portion of this almost certainly illegal fence last August, two conservationists found the carcasses of 23 dead deer and elk. Presumably, their migration papers were not in order.
Yet, aside from Mr. Turner’s shocking efforts at migration control, making a buck off the myopic blasting of critters on one’s own land is a Theodore Roosevelt-honored method of conservation. For that matter, neither conservationists nor conservatives could quibble with most of the things Mr. Turner does on his land in fact, many would probably enjoy a shot at some of the hunting trips.
However, a double standard seems to be in play by both Mr. Turner and the green radicals for whom Mr. Turner is a sugar daddy. Mark Van Putten, president of the National Wildlife Federation (NWF), refused to criticize Mr. Turner’s fences, even though the NWF has attempted to make such fences illegal on federal property. Such a muted response could have been bought by the $1.8 million that NWF has received from the Turner Foundation. In fact, over the last decade, that foundation has given more than $152 million to environmental and population-control groups, even as Mr. Turner has been quietly “improving” his property.
It appears that the ecological cohorts who pretend to care for nothing earthly except the Earth are actually in promiscuous pursuit of “Daddy Greenbucks.”