“We have to manage conservation,” Josiah Austin tells the westies over a bowl of cereal. His 30,000-acre Adams Ranch in Big Bend, Texas is surrounded on three sides by conservation areas–National Park on one side, Wildlife Management on another, and a privately-held international corporate conservation area to the southeast, straddling the US-Mexico border. Austin began buying up Texas ranch properties in 1982 with the intention of restoring landscape and habitat. “When we first started doing watershed restoration, we didn’t really know what we were doing, but we learned quickly.” He and his wife moved over a thousand miles from their home in Manhattan to a double-wide on El Coronado Ranch in Texas. “I don’t think my wife had any clue what a double-wide even was,” Austin smiled. Josiah is tall and thin, and even when he’s wearing Crocs he appears authoritative. He dropped out of high school, talked his way into college, and graduated from the University of Denver with a degree in finance. After a career in the stock market, he went west to pursue his passion for open spaces. “I guess my love for open space started on my family’s farm in Maryland,” he explained, “on New Hampshire Avenue.” At the Adams Ranch Headquarters in Big Bend, it seems Austin’s got all the open space he could ever want.