Ted Turner gets OK for Yellowstone bison on ranch

Ted Turner is one of America’s true heroes of fish and wildlife conservation, a fact that conservative, narrow-minded folks who perceive property-rights as applying to everyone except the property owner who chooses to deny them access to his hunting and fishing have never been able to grasp.

When, in January 2002 Fly Rod & Reel, recognized Turner's commitment to native trout by making him its Angler of the Year, we found ourselves shoveling out from the biggest blizzard of nastygrams we've seen in our 30-year history. Although I had nothing to do with the selection, we were told that: I had "a political agenda," I'd done it for money, I was a "snot nose," a "moron," a "nasty bully," a "nature Nazi," an acolyte of "Hanoi Jane," an espouser of "vitriolic leftist environmentalism."

"I see your magazine is lining up lock-step with the wild-animal-rights fly-fishing crowd that Left Wing Ted leads and which appears to be taking over the leadership of Trout Unlimited and the Federation of Fly Fishers . . ." wrote Bruce Cox of Springdale, Pennsylvania. "I am completely opposed to the wild-at-any-cost perspective of this left-wing animal-rights crowd and to wit will . . . politically align myself with anti-wild-fish groups and politicians."

Most of these correspondents proclaimed that they would quit reading Fly Rod & Reel. If they were truthful, we have a more intelligent readership today.