This West Is OUR West

Ted Turner Wants to Return His Western Properties to 'Pre-European-Contact' Condition


By Penny Starr | January 3, 2017 | 5:00 PM EST


Liberal media mogul Ted Turner. (AP) 

In an article published in Amtrak’s The National Magazine, liberal media mogul Ted Turner is profiled as a man with a mission: to return his lands in the West to their “pre-European-contact” state and to “sow environmentalism into the consciousness of the American psyche” through expeditions on his vast properties.

“We’ve gotten rid of all the cattle on our property,” Turner said in the story in the December/January issue of the magazine.

“Some 51,000 native ungulates now graze across 1.9 million acres in the western U.S. on 14 Turner ranches, two of which are newly open to the public through TTX [Ted Turner Expeditions] in southern New Mexico,” the article said.

Photo of one of Ted Turner's ranches.  (AP) 


“These sister ranches, the 156,000-acre riparian range Ladder Ranch and the nearby 363,000-acre geologic marvel Armendaris Ranch, home of the Fra Cristobal Mountains,” reads the article, “are what his staff calls ‘conservation ranches,’ whole ecosystems Turner is restoring to native states as models for environmental education.”

The article refers to Turner’s TTX as a “private national park” with a purpose.

“If the idea of a private national park sounds far-fetched, untenable, and somewhat intriguing, please recall that Turner created the 24-7 news cycle by founding CNN way back in 1980,” the story reports.

“He may have come to television news via the ad side—he took over his deceased father’s billboard business in 1963—but he’s long been known as a strong editorial voice, particularly when it comes to environmental and humanitarian issues, funding expeditions by seminal marine biologist Jacques Cousteau and donating $1 billion to the United Nations to create the United Nations Foundation, focusing on issues of climate change and social welfare.”

“One bright morning in Truth or Consequences (N.M.), I board a red Ford Expedition sent from TTX, its front license plate broadcasting its mission well before it reaches a full stop: ‘Save Everything,’” reports the article. “Not save the whales, or the wolves, or the reefs. Gentle bumper-sticker reader, it urges, think bigger: the planet and man.”

The article says most anyone can experience at least some of Turner’s ranches for about $50, but for his mission to be accomplished it will take more people like him.


Liberal environmental activist Ted Turner on one of his ranches.  (AP) 


“Treading the line between development and conservation, TTX aims to create a few hiking routes, but not use them so much as to leave worn paths and to keep the prices on excursions relatively low in order to broadly appeal,” states The National Magazine, “while relying on those who can pay $6,000 for a night at Turner’s own Ladder Ranch house, a Western-art-filled four-bedroom featuring bison-hide rugs and a private chef, to support the initiative.”

And, apparently, although there are horses for riding, automobiles are still allowed.