Meet Our Speakers: Carter Kruse

When the daytime temperatures peak at around forty degrees Fahrenheit, Carter Kruse wears a baseball cap and a sweater. An avid hunter and fisherman originally from South Dakota, Kruse fits right in at Ted Turner’s Flying D Ranch outside of Bozeman, Montana, where on a chilly autumn day bison stipple the hills and the rivers teem with trout. Kruse came to Montana to pursue a career in conservation and has worked for Turner Enterprises, Inc. for about two decades as a natural resources manager on Ted Turner’s vast private lands. During his tenure, Kruse has overseen dozens of successful restoration projects including the renovation of a 60-mile stretch of Cherry Creek that runs through the Flying D. “We need a new model for conservation,” Kruse said. “Private landowners need to play an increasing role–especially those fortunate enough to own large tracts of land where large differences can be made.” The Cherry Creek Project, funded primarily by Turner and supervised by Kruse, was the largest successful river renovation in the country. It increased habitat for the nearly-endangered westslope cutthroat trout (one of 14 subspecies of native cutthroat) by five hundred percent. Kruse is modest about his own achievements and encouraging of the next generation of scientists. Standing outside Turner’s tool shop looking up at the Spanish Peaks, Kruse relayed a token of wisdom: “You don’t have to love fishing to do something for conservation.” 

By: Rachel Needham