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Ted Turner responds to the Osage Nation’s bid for Bluestem Ranch

TV media mogul Ted Turner said he is “pleased” the purchase agreement for the Bluestem Ranch is now signed with the Osage Nation taking ownership.

The Nation announced on Jan. 28 that it won the bid to purchase the 43,000-acre ranch from Turner who raised bison on the land. Turner wrote a Feb. 9 letter to Principal Chief Geoffrey Standing Bear acknowledging the Chief’s Jan. 21 letter as part of the land bidding process. “Directly from Ted Turner, the Nation was the high bidder and the preferred buyer,” Assistant Principal Chief Raymond Red Corn said on Jan. 28.

In his letter, Turner said: “It is my sincere hope that our transaction is the last time this land is ever sold and that the Osage Nation owns this land for future generations. I am thrilled that the Bluestem Ranch will be going back to the Osage Nation and that you intend to keep the land under undivided ownership, raise bison, and continue the conservation practices we have implemented.”

Standing Bear told Turner in the bid letter the Nation seeks to preserve, protect and sustain the land, as well as use it as a home for “the bison that are sacred to us.”

“I applaud your intentions, as they are the exact same as mine when I purchased the Bluestem 15 years ago,” Turner wrote. “Our team at Turner Enterprises has been raising bison for over 30 years, and we will be happy to assist the Osage Nation in any way possible as you continue the work of raising bison on the Bluestem.” 

In closing, Turner said: “Taylor Glover said your meeting yesterday was very encouraging and it was clear that the Osage people are very excited to be re-acquiring this land of their ancestors. I share in your excitement and look forward to closing on this sale and meeting you in person.”

Glover is president and CEO for Turner Enterprises, according to the company website. Glover has oversight of the company’s landholdings, financial investments and business interests, including Ted’s Montana Grill, which is Turner’s 45-restaurant chain featuring several bison dishes. According to the website, Turner is the second largest individual landowner in North America with approximately 2 million acres of personal and ranch lands.

Standing Bear also told Turner: “We will use the lands to reconnect our children and youth to nature. We can think of no better learning environment for our children than these lands… This land is perfectly centered between our traditional towns of Wa-hock-o-li (Pawhuska), Zon-zo-lin (Hominy) and Pah-su-li (Grayhorse).”


Benny Polacca

Original Publish Date: 2016-02-19 00:00:00


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Benny Polaccahttps://osagenews.org
Benny Polacca started at the Osage News in 2009 as a reporter and has covered various stories and events impacting the Osage Nation and Osage people. Polacca is part of the News team awarded the Native American Journalist Association’s Elias Boudinot Free Press Award in 2014 and other NAJA Media Awards and SPJ Oklahoma Pro Chapter awards for news coverage and photography. Polacca is an Arizona State University graduate and participated in the former American Indian Journalism Institute at the University of South Dakota. He previously worked at The Forum newspaper covering the Fargo, N.D. region as the weeknight reporter.

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