Turner Ranches History
In the midst of his illustrious career in cable, media and professional sports, Ted Turner purchased his first ranch in Toston, Montana in 1986. Turner's affinity for western landscapes continued to grow, resulting in the purchase of another property, the 113,000-acre Flying D Ranch outside of Bozeman, Montana. Thus began Ted's quest to "turn back the clock", as he sought to restore The Flying D to its original glory. Ted removed much of the infrastructure from the interior of the Flying D Ranch, including almost all fencing, and reinstated its dominant native species – the American bison. This initiated Ted's grand vision of ranching at scale with bison, which was North America’s dominant herbivore species prior to European settlement. Ted also began initiating large-scale conservation projects on his properties, significant to their respective areas/regions. Thus began Turner Ranches' diligent approach to ranching, which carefully balances commerce (financial gain) and conservation (preserving the land asset and all native species) on Turner properties.
Over the next 30 years, Ted purchased a total of 16 ranches in six western states, totaling 1.85 million acres. He removed cattle from these properties, replacing them instead with bison. Nearly all Turner bison were purchased from other producers from 1990 to 1996. The Turner herd is a “composite” herd of all available genetics in North America, and totals over 50,000 head (the largest private bison herd in the world).