Ted Turner's Land

MULLEN, Neb. (AP) - Ted Turner's $10 million purchase of more than 26,000 acres of land in Nebraska has the local rumor mills churning.

Conspiracy theorists claim he bought the land to gain control over the world's largest underground water system. Others conjecture the man with 45,000 buffalo wants to create a wildlife refuge.

Either way, ranchers worry the mogul's land grabs will run them out of business.

A man who works for Ted Turner says the billionaire is just a "doggone serious rancher.''

Turner's spokesmen have an even simpler answer: He's looking to make money. An elk hunting excursion in one park in New Mexico costs $12,000 a pop. And he has opened more than 50 restaurants where patrons can munch on bison meat.

With two million acres to his name, the billionaire has amassed the largest cache of private land in the country.

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