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The Land Report Summer 2009


Chasing the Blue Dog

Hit the trail with Heath Shuler, and one gets a much different perspective of this very public face.

Late last fall, my publisher and I set out from Birmingham to meet Congressman Heath Shuler at Wynfield Plantation. Neither of us really knew what to expect. Was the former NFLer going to kick back and reminisce about the good old days and his beloved Tennessee Vols? Or would the recent November elections dominate discussion, especially the cataclysmic changes in store on the Hill and possible new committee assignments?
We were wrong on both counts.
Thanks to his hectic schedule and the demands of shuttling back and forth between the nation’s capital and his district in North Carolina, Heath only makes it to Wynfield three or four times a year these days. But when he does, he dives in headfirst with about as much enthusiasm as the black Lab flying across page 38.
The habitat, the cover, the rainfall, the pests–it was an eye-opener to listen as he regained his fluency in all aspects of his property. We regularly emphasize to subscribers who are out-of-town landowners that they make sure to have key people holding down the fort. It’s a vital consideration, and Heath has quite the crew. I could start with Wynfield’s GM, Mike Osteen, but Henry Chappell does a much better job of discussing Mike’s many competencies in his well-crafted read, “Eye on the Prize.”
Since our launch in 2007, we’ve called ourselves The Magazine of the American Landowner. By sharing the story of Heath Shuler, we live up to that billing … and then some.
Eric O’Keefe, Editor, The Land Report


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