Google+

Missouri’s Largest Private Landowner Saw the Forest Through the Trees

 

Missouri’s Largest Private Landowner Saw the Forest Through the Trees

 by Carmen Schwartz

Leo Drey is an interesting character when it comes to the list of largest private landowners in the United States. Most agree that he is a pillar of strength; which seems poignant, considering he is all about saving and rejuvenating the strong, solid timberlands of Missouri.

 

There is a story told that Leo Drey’s answering machine speaks: “I’m out planting a forest. Please leave your name and number, and I’ll try to get back to you before it matures.” In other words? The Great Outdoors and his mission to constantly work for the forest will always be the first thought on his mind.

 

It was 1917 when Leo A. Drey came into the world in St. Louis; and over time he became Missouri’s prominent timber magnate, conservationist, and P4290323philanthropist. Coming from the background of manufacturing (his father was a very wealthy manufacturer of glassware), Mr. Drey began what was to become his main goal in life in 1951. This is when his focus landed on the acquisition of timberland in the Missouri Ozarks, which he would use for reforestation and conservation projects.

 

Holdings rose to approximately 160,000 acres, making him the largest private landholder in the state – with more acres than Missouri’s entire park system. Pioneer Forest, which was the initial project for his reforestation and conservation goals, is a commercial forest managed in the public interest. Operated with harvesting techniques referred to as single-tree selection, U.S. Pioneer Forest is one of the most lush, vibrant areas in the country.

 

At the core of the Missouri Ozarks, the diversity of oak, hickory and pine make for magnificent scenery. And by utilizing the single-tree selection harvesting technique, this land has maintained its vibrancy – a sustainable forest that provides for everyone.

 

Over the years, Pioneer Forest has restored more than 153,000 acres of Ozark woodlands across six Missouri counties, and Leo Drey can be thanked for LeoDrey,EdWoods,CharlieKirkwith large white oak along Current RiverScanthat. It was he and he alone who made forest owners and managers stop and think. He challenged them to look at the future when it came to the best way to manage and protect forests so both public and industry could benefit from the health and wealth of the land. He had the knowledge that all of these forested areas could be extremely productive if only they were managed well, using the far more conservative harvesting technique. Mr. Drey wished to prove that by doing things his way, the structure of the forest would remain the same – or be even more beneficial than it already was.

 

With the long-range objective for Pioneer Forest still in place – to develop and manage native tree species of large diameter, while also providing recreational and ecosystem benefits – Leo Drey has literally shown that his idea was more than bountiful.

 

The L-A-D Foundation was begun so that Mr. Drey could offer even more help when it came to maintaining and protecting various other natural areas in Missouri. Offering a chance for all citizens to enjoy the beautiful areas, he leased many acres to the state park system for only one dollar per year.

 

Ensuring that the forests will continually be managed through environmentally sound and sustainable practices is Leo Drey’s ultimate success. His ideals should be duplicated across the country, seeing as that he illustrated the very real fact that the future doesn’t need to leave the past behind in order to be successful.

 

Drey, himself, always commented about the people and the area he seems to love, offering sheer respect for the citizens of the Ozarks. He admired the fact that they had consistently managed to make a living from those hills through hard work.

 

Before Leo Drey came along, people had used the area in more wrong ways than could be counted, bringing detriment to the land. But with his hard work, people finally began to realize the actual value of all that stood around them.

 

His love of the land is easily seen. When people think about Leo Drey, they may remember the hugely-publicized purchase of Greer Spring in Oregon County. (Greer is the second largest spring in Missouri.) There was a great deal of talk when it came to commercial development in that area. Drey looked at the competition who would, if they won the land, mess it up in more ways than one, and came in with an offer, got the property and then immediately gave it to the U.S. Forest Service. Talk about a bargain.

 

The list of what this man has done and the land he’s protected is vast. Being born in the city that plays home to the Gateway Arch, a monument that stands for the westward expansion of the United States, seems fitting for Leo Drey. After all, his incredible work is all about expanding the minds of others. He saw the wealth of the forest through the commercial-building trees, and has fought for many years to keep the most valuable resource we have intact and thriving.

 

www.LandReport.com

Source: Baret News Wire

REQUEST INFORMATION

Entertainment

For movies opening August 18, 2017

  OPENING THIS WEEK Kam's Kapsules Weekly Previews That Make Choosing a Film Fun by Kam Williams For movies opening August 18, 2017 BIG BUDGET FILMS The Hitman's Bodyguard (R for graphic violence and pervasive profanity) Unlikely-buddies comedy about an ace bodyguard (Ryan Reynolds) who grudgingly helps a notorious assassin (Samuel L. Jackson) negotiate a dangerous gauntlet en route to the Hague where he's set to testify in 24 … [Read More its Good for You.....]

Lifestyle

The “King” Will Take Center Stage at the 2017 Wildlife Conservation Expo

  The “King” Will Take Center Stage at the 2017 Wildlife Conservation Expo by Amy Lignor   Each and every year the Wildlife Conservation Expo is held to address situations out there that are harming our world and its animal inhabitants. This time around, WCN’s annual Fall Wildlife Conservation Expo in October, will be focusing on various issues, but it is the King of the Jungle who will be taking center stage. For those who are … [Read More its Good for You...]

Outdoors

How Bassmaster Pro Edwin Evers Adjusts the Auto Settings on His Sonar

  How Bassmaster Pro Edwin Evers Adjusts the Auto Settings on His Sonar  by Edwin Evers When it comes to electronics, a question I get asked a lot is, “How do you customize your fish finder settings at the beginning of a day on the water?” The short answer is, “I don’t.”   You might think that a guy who makes his living with a rod and reel and who’s always looking for ways to tweak a lure or find a stronger knot would spend a … [Read More its Good for You...]

Sports

College Football Arriving Soon!

  College Football Arriving Soon! by Amy Lignor   Ask any college football fan and they will tell you that it seems like an eternity waiting for the season to begin. But, have no fear, the kick-off to the college season is almost here, with Colorado State and Oregon State hitting the field on Saturday, August 26th at 2:30 p.m. ET. On the same day, fans of Oregon State and Colorado State will see an active match-up, and Portland … [Read More its Good for You...]

Travel

Going Back in Time on the Ultimate Steamboat Vacation

  Going Back in Time on the Ultimate Steamboat Vacation by Amy Lignor   Many people love taking a cruise. But it is the river cruise on that glorious steamboat that not only offers all the benefits a big ocean liner offers, but also creates a more personalized, intimate vacation experience. It is a unique recipe: being able to witness stunning landscapes, mixed with amazing history, while dining on acclaimed regional cuisine and … [Read More its Good for You...]

Real Estate

Real Estate: Refinancing Rates on the Rise in 2017

  Real Estate: Refinancing Rates on the Rise in 2017 by Amy Lignor   The term ‘meteoric rise’ usually applies to something fun. Think: A Hollywood actor who has been ‘discovered.’) Unfortunately, when it comes to this article, ‘meteoric rise’ is something that will not bring a smile to one’s face. To put it simply, if you wish to refinance your home, you need to do it ASAP. If choosing to wait too much longer, homeowners across the … [Read More its Good for You.....]

Business

Umbrella Insurance: The Safety Net You Need

  Umbrella Insurance: The Safety Net You Need by Amy Lignor   The realm of insurance is just about the most difficult maze to get through. Each and every day it seems the financial and insurance industries are changing. What is not changing, however, is the fact that lawsuits fill up the courts more and more – lawsuits that award cash to third parties even if you don’t happen to have that cash saved. More and more, the words “umbrella … [Read More its Good for You...]

Green Living

Creating the Perfect Vegetable Garden

  Creating the Perfect Vegetable Garden by Amy Lignor   Many are still dealing with that wintery mix Mother Nature just loves to toss down from the sky this time of year. Yet, that gardener living inside the soul – the one just dreaming of the sunny skies and lazy rainy days that are must-haves in order to grow the best vegetables possible – is already jotting down the facts, tricks and tips they need to know in order to make that … [Read More its Good for You...]

Books

Book of Black Heroes

  Book of Black Heroes Political Leaders Past and Present by Gil L. Robertson, IV Foreword by Myrlie Evers-Williams Just Us Books Paperback, $12.95 80 pages ISBN: 978-1-933491-21-9 Book Review by Kam Williams “The first African-American political leaders began to serve following the Civil War...Known as Reconstruction, this period represented a window of opportunity for African-Americans... Many [Black] political leaders emerged … [Read More its Good for You...]