- Associated Press - Thursday, October 1, 2015

MCLAUGHLIN, S.D. (AP) - A Florida real estate tycoon is selling a ranch in the Dakotas that has long been a source of frustration for area ranchers and authorities.

The 22,000-acre Wilder Buffalo Ranch on the Standing Rock Indian Reservation will be auctioned Oct. 17 in the Mobridge Country Club, either in parcels or as a single unit, Maurice Wilder, of Clearwater, Florida, told the Capital Journal (http://bit.ly/1O58Upd ).

The ranch that Wilder has owned since 1994 straddles the North Dakota-South Dakota border. Neighbors for years have complained about Wilder’s bison getting out of fences, damaging their hay stacks and pastures and creating road hazards.

In 2009, North Dakota officials dropped animal neglect charges against Wilder after he paid eight neighboring ranchers more than $60,000 in damages. Two years later, the sheriff in Corson County was ordered to oversee the care of 6,000 buffalo on the Wilder ranch after several were found dead and others were determined to be malnourished.

Wilder maintains that employees were to blame, and he disputes the severity of the problems.

“We got some bad write-ups in the papers. A lot of it wasn’t true. It said we lost 12 buffalo and we only lost four,” he said of the 2011 incident. “But we couldn’t get any good help up there at all.”

Wilder said he got tired of the complaints and the hassles of keeping a ranch running in the Northern Plains, where winters can be harsh.

“We sold the buffalo last November, a little bit over 4,000 of them,” he said.

Wilder sold another South Dakota ranch to media mogul Ted Turner about a decade ago. Turner hasn’t contacted him about this ranch, he said.

Turner is buying another ranch in South Dakota, northwest of Fort Pierre. Triple U Buffalo Ranch owner Kay Ingle confirmed the $32.4 million sale this week. The ranch was the setting for part of the Academy Award-winning movie “Dances with Wolves.”

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Information from: Pierre Capital Journal, http://www.capjournal.com

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