Ohio State hosting talks on famous grizzly bear, Ted Turner’s green impact in West

T. A. Moulton BarnTwo special events at Ohio State will look at two big personalities — a famous grizzly bear and media mogul turned environmentalist Ted Turner, who was born in Ohio — and the mark they’re making on the American West.

The Ohio State-based Environmental Professionals Network, a service of the School of Environment and Natural Resources, is hosting both events. The school is in the university’s College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences.

On Oct. 24 at 7 p.m., photographer Thomas Mangelsen and writer Todd Wilkinson will present “An Evening with Grizzly Bear 399,” a photo-rich talk based on their book Grizzlies of Pilgrim Creek.

The book’s star is Grizzly 399, a female grizzly bear living in Wyoming’s Grand Teton National Park. Media outlets have called her the world’s most famous grizzly. She has a Twitter feed at @grizzlybear399. The number 399 is the identifier given her by scientists studying her and other grizzlies in the region.

Should grizzlies stay protected?

David Hanselmann, a lecturer in the school and the network’s coordinator, said the presentation “will help us understand the dynamics around the proposed de-listing of the grizzly bear in that area from the federal Endangered Species Act, the role of large predators in Rocky Mountain ecosystems and our role in helping them survive.”

Wilkinson returns the next night, Oct. 25, also at 7 p.m., to present “Ted Turner: How His Amazing Life Story Ultimately Informs Western Lands, Wildlife and People Management.” Wilkinson is the author of a Turner biography called Last Stand: Ted Turner’s Quest to Save a Troubled Planet.

Born in Cincinnati, Turner founded the Turner Broadcasting System and CNN, the first 24-hour cable news network, which he sold in 1996. Since then, he has become the second-largest private landowner in the U.S., with more than 1.5 million acres, much of it ranchland in Montana.

How he’s sustaining ranchland

Turner’s new approaches to managing that land — for bison grazing, income and biodiversity, including predators — “help us understand how these ecosystems can be managed for people, wildlife and communities,” Hanselmann said.

People attending the talk will find Wilkinson “a passionate, caring person, dedicated to helping us understand the world we live in,” said Hanselmann, who met the author for coffee in June while traveling in Montana.

Grizzlies of Pilgrim Creek, for its part, is “a must-read if you care about the survival of America’s most iconic grizzly,” says a jacket blurb by world-renowned anthropologist Jane Goodall, who’s a friend and collaborator of Mangelsen’s.

Both are free in Ohio Union

Both events are free and open to the public. Seating is limited, however, and registering separately for both is required at go.osu.edu/Oct24Registration and go.osu.edu/Oct25Registration.

The Oct. 24 event is in the Archie M. Griffin Grand Ballroom in the university’s Ohio Union, 1739 N. High St., Columbus. The room can hold about 1,100 people.

The Oct. 25 event is in the 297-seat U.S. Bank Theater, which is also in the Ohio Union.

Sponsoring the events are Ohio State’s Office of Energy and Environment and the Fish and Wildlife Society student chapter at the university.

For more information, go to go.osu.edu/Oct24GrizzlyBear and go.osu.edu/Oct25TurnerBio, or contact Hanselmann at hanselmann.3@osu.edu or 614-247-1908.

(Photo: Grand Teton National Park by Dean Fikar from iStock.)

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