You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Conservation primary at Turner ranch

Mogul takes on eco-concerns at home

Turner talks U.N., philanthropy | Conservation primary at Turner ranch | Charity Nets a gain in perspective | Despair a daily affair for refugees

The old maxim is to think global, act local — but Ted Turner is thinking and acting on both levels.

The U.N. Foundation, which he set into motion 15 years ago, deals with worldwide concerns such as health, women’s rights and the environment. And the exec is putting his eco-concerns into practice at his Flying D ranch, just outside of Bozeman, Mont.

Sitting on the porch of his wooded ranch house, he points to the rolling green lands. “There were farms with farmhouses; I took all the fences down,” he says. “The place was developed, and we un-developed it. But it took 20 years to do.”

He’s proud that the 113,000-acre ranch is home to every predatory animal that was in the area “when Lewis & Clark were around,” including bears, wolves, wolverines and coyotes. The residents also include eagles, geese, deer and trout.

But he seems most proud of the bison, rearranging his schedule to personally drive visitors out to see a herd. When he bought the ranch, there were 4,000. Now, there are 56,000, and one-fifth are targeted for the menu in his Ted’s Montana Grill restaurants.

Back on the porch, he pauses as the geese in a nearby pond raise a racket. “We’re living out here with nature. Sometimes it’s a pain in the ass,” he laughs. “But we love it.”

“You know, I started the only private endangered-species fund in the world,” he adds. “It’s headquartered here in Bozeman. We’re working on 20 different species.” (And no, none of those is targeted for the restaurants.)

Turner’s mind zips around at lightning speed, switching subjects as he interrupts his own interruptions. He can talk about military spending, soil erosion, women’s rights and TV journalism, and then suddenly looks at the headline “Grizzlies in decline” in the Bozeman Daily Chronicle and exclaims, “I can’t take it anymore! It’s breaking my heart!” And then he resumes his thoughts exactly where he left off.

The house seems roomy but not huge, with a feeling of intimacy due to all the wood interiors and to personal touches like a bison silhouette on the door. He suddenly asks, “How many lights do you see on in the house?”


“That’s right.” He had wondered whether to do the early-morning interview indoors, but decided, “I don’t want to be turning on lights in the middle of the day. I’m trying to do the right thing, all the time. How many cans and bottles did you see on the road coming in?”


“That’s a public road. But when I see a (discarded) bottle, I stop and pick it up.”

He adds, “I think it’s important that we save the environment and save people. We can do it, if we start doing everything right. We’ve got to stop doing the dumb things and start doing the smart things. You can’t do too much good. You can do too much evil. But you can’t do too much good.”

More Biz

  • Plume of black smoke rising from

    Lawsuit Expected Next Week in Response to Universal Music Fire

    A Los Angeles law firm representing several Universal Music recording artists affected by the 2008 fire that destroyed a huge number of master recordings is expected to file a lawsuit as early as next week. King told Variety that he expects to sue for negligence and other torts. He declined to identify his clients, saying [...]

  • Nicholas Sparks

    Nicholas Sparks Responds as LGBT Discrimination Claim Resurfaces

    Nicholas Sparks, the prolific author of romance novels, is facing renewed allegations that he discriminated against gay students at his Christian school in North Carolina. The allegations were first leveled by Saul Benjamin, the former headmaster of the Epiphany School of Global Studies, in a wrongful termination suit he filed in 2014. Benjamin’s suit alleged [...]

  • Tyler the Creator and DJ Khaled

    Inside the DJ Khaled-Tyler, the Creator Chart Battle

    The controversy surrounding the recent chart battle between DJ Khaled and Tyler the Creator — in which a bundle promoting Khaled’s album was disqualified from adding to its sales tally for the May 24 Billboard 200 album chart, allowing the No. 1 spot to go to Tyler’s “Igor” — has been a first-class problem for [...]

  • Cuba Gooding Jr. Diversity

    Cuba Gooding Jr. Charged with Misdemeanor Forcible Touching

    Actor Cuba Gooding, Jr., has been charged with a misdemeanor count of forcible touching following an incident at a nightclub, the New York Police Department said Thursday. Gooding turned himself in to NYPD detectives on Thursday, surrounded by a throng of media. Later in the day, he was arraigned in front of Judge Herb Moses. [...]

  • Contract Placeholder Business WGA ATA Agent

    CAA Challenges Writers Guild of America's Legal Standing in Packaging Fee Lawsuit

    CAA has challenged the Writers Guild of America’s legal standing for bringing forth the lawsuit against Hollywood’s four largest talent agencies over the issue of packaging fees. CAA’s latest legal response to the suit filed by the WGA in Los Angeles Superior Court in April asserts that the guild does not have the right to [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content