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

  • Contract Placeholder Business WGA ATA Agent

    Signs of Solidarity and Strain Emerge as Week 2 of WGA-Talent Agency Standoff Begins

    Hundreds of WGA members rallied solidly behind their union last week as the industry grappled with uncertainties spurred by the sudden break between writers and their talent agency representatives. But as the standoff heads into its second week, signs of strain among some WGA members are beginning to emerge. Shalom Auslander, author and creator of [...]

  • Woodstock 50 Festival Postpones Ticket On-Sale

    Woodstock 50 Festival Postpones Ticket On-Sale Date

    UPDATED: The troubled Woodstock 50 festival has run into more difficulties, as multiple sources told Variety late Friday that the April 22 on-sale date for the event has been postponed. Agents for artists scheduled to perform at the festival — which include Jay-Z, Dead & Company, Chance the Rapper, Miley Cyrus, Imagine Dragons and Halsey [...]

  • National Enquirer - Jeff Bezos

    Hudson Media CEO James Cohen Purchases the National Enquirer

    Hudson Media’s CEO James Cohen announced Thursday that he will purchase the National Enquirer as well as American Media’s other tabloids, the Globe and the National Examiner. With the purchase of the National Enquirer, which Cohen reportedly bought for $100 million, he plans to strengthen their collaborative efforts, documentary shows, weekly podcasts, and theme parks. [...]

  • Amazon

    Amazon Music’s Free Tier Is More Advertising Play Than Spotify Killer, Analysts Say

    When news began to spread last week that Amazon Music’s long-anticipated free streaming tier was imminent, headlines emerged about its threat to Spotify and Apple Music, with some stories saying that Spotify’s stock price dropped in response to the news. But not only was today’s launch of the free tier basically a soft one — [...]

  • Nicki MinajCFDA Vogue Fashion Fund Dinner,

    Nicki Minaj Parts Ways With Longtime Managers (EXCLUSIVE)

    Nicki Minaj has parted ways with Gee Roberson and Cortez Bryant and Blueprint/ Maverick Management, a source close to the situation confirms to Variety. She had worked with the pair for the majority of her career. The source says the decision was mutual and amicable, and there was no specific reason for the split, adding [...]

  • Amazon

    Amazon Music Launches Free Streaming Tier, Through Alexa Only (for Now)

    Amazon Music today basically soft-launched its free streaming tier, in which U.S. customers of its Alexa voice assistant will have access to top Amazon Music playlists and thousands of stations, at no cost. The limited access that the new free service provides — it’s only available through Alexa, and when the listener requests a song, [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content