50 Years Ago, This Was a Wasteland. He Changed Everything

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Almost 50 years ago, fried chicken tycoon David Bamberger used his fortune to purchase 5,500 acres of overgrazed land in the Texas Hill Country. Planting grasses to soak in rains and fill hillside aquifers, Bamberger devoted the rest of his life to restoring the degraded landscape.

Today, the land has been restored to its original habitat and boasts enormous biodiversity. Bamberger’s model of land stewardship is now being replicated across the region and he is considered to be a visionary in land management and water conservation.

He cleared much of the juniper ash. He bought barrels of grass seed — throwing $5 handfuls of it into the wind from the back of his tractor.

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He carved plateaus into his hillsides to hold the rainfall, letting it filter down into the aquifer below. He planted hundred of trees.It took decades of careful work by both Bamberger and nature, but now 3,000 people a year visit the ranch to see the results.

VIANational Geographic
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