Ranch owned by Ted Turner seeks New Mexico permit to import endangered black-footed ferrets

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – A more than half-million-acre ranch that straddles the New Mexico-Colorado border and is owned by media mogul Ted Turner has asked for permission to import black-footed ferrets.

The highly endangered carnivores have struggled across the Great Plains, and the Vermejo Park Ranch wants to bolster their numbers as part of a recovery program spanning 12 Western states.

It will be up to the New Mexico Game Commission to clear the way for a permit for the ranch during a meeting Thursday.

Biologists at the ranch have been working for years to recover the species.

This marks the first time they have to jump through an extra hoop of review because of a regulatory change involving the importation and release of carnivores on private land in New Mexico.