Fried Chicken Tycoon Turns 5,500 Acres Of Wasteland Into A Sprawling Nature Reserve

David Bamberger used his fortune to restore 5,500 acres of overgrazed land to its natural state.

50 years ago, David Bamberger sold his fast-food business Church’s Fried Chicken and used his fortune to begin his work on Selah Bamberger Ranch Preserve.

His plan was to find the worst piece of land he could find in the hill country of Texas — 5,500 acres of overgrazed land and restore it to its natural state.

According to National Geographic, 46 years ago there was not a single drop of water, despite the seven 500-feet wells that Bamberger had drilled in the limestone aquifer. They were all dry.

The problem was that all the rain just ran off the hillsides instead of soaking in and filling the aquifers.

Then he replaced cedar brushes from the hillsides with native grass, and 2.5 years later, a first spring came to life, and then another one.

Bamberger explains that the roots of grass actually helped soak in and retain the rain.

As a result, springs came bursting all around the arid landscape and supplied water for all the nature’s critters but also families that lived there.

As I look in awe at Bamberger’s restoration success, one question boggles me — could have he succeeded if he hadn’t worked with Mother Nature instead of against her?

Watch the entire video from National Geographic:

Nikola uses his background in electrical engineering to break down complex sustainability topics for GreenCitizen's readers. He is a firm believer in environmental conservation, which he practices daily through recycling and home-grown food. He enjoys hiking, engaging in white-water sports, and collecting pocket knives.

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