Mark Tercek, the President and CEO of the Nature Conservancy, interviewed Ted Turner for the Huffington Post to celebrate the new PBS series EARTH: A New Wild, which explores people’s relationship with wildlife in some of the planet’s most spectacular places. Read the full interview here.
Mark Tercek: EARTH: A New Wild follows the reintroduction of prairie dogs and wolves to the Great Plains—efforts that you have championed. This can be a touchy topic among ranchers. How do you respond to critics?
Ted Turner: There is enough room for us all to exist together in harmony. Both wolves and prairie dogs are incredible species that play important roles in our ecosystem, and deserve to be not only appreciated, but protected as well.
Mark Tercek: Do you have hope for the world’s grasslands?
Ted Turner: Bison introduction onto my ranches has done wonders for the grassland, damaged by cattle. But as with any projects, I always feel as though I could do more. Hopefully, leading by example, it puts others on notice to take action as well. We’re capable of it, so it is possible. That gives me hope.
Mark Tercek: Think about the world your grandchildren will live in as adults. Are you optimistic?
Ted Turner: I am optimistic because the alternative would be to give up, and that’s not something I’m willing to do. We can make this world a better place, but the question is “will we?” I’m continuing to do my part and encouraging others to do what they can. Ultimately, the choice is ours.