The 25 Biggest Landowners In America

John maloneREUTERS/Rick WilkingLiberty Media Corp. chairman (and #1 landowner) John Malone arrives at the annual Allen and Co. conference at the Sun Valley, Idaho Resort July 12, 2013.

Land
remains a hot investment, and America’s wealthiest individuals are snapping up property at breakneck speed.

The 100 biggest private landowners in the U.S. added 700,000 acres to their holdings in the past year, according to CNBC’s Robert Frank. That means they now control more than 30 million acres, or 2% of America’s land mass.

The Land Report has just released its list of America’s biggest private landowners for 2013.

Media tycoon John Malone, who owns 2.2 million acres — more than twice as much land as the state of Delaware — tops the list for the third year running. We’re taking a closer look at top 25 landowners. You can download the full report at The Land Report.

#25 Jeff Bezos owns 290,000 acres

Making the top 25 for the first time is Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos. He bought a 290,000-acre ranch in Texas in 2004, and his aerospace firm Blue origin uses it to test space vehicles.

Data provided by The Land Report.

#24 The Nunley Family owns 301,500 acres

The Nunley brothers have been in the ranching business for more than 70 years, and specialize in the Santa Gertrudis breed of cow. They own holdings in Texas and New Mexico, including a major cow-calf operation.

Data provided by The Land Report.


#22 Pat Broe owns 317,677 acres

Pat Broe and his Rockies acres

Broe's investment and asset management company controls over 100 companies in real estate, energy and transportation.

He owns land in many states. Broe's Hubble & Green Ranches in New Mexico cover 290,000 acres. His Colorado's Great Western Industrial Park became a major source of the state's green job growth in 2008.

Data provided by The Land Report.

#20 Malone Mitchell III owns 384,000 acres

Mitchell is an oil tycoon and investor who owns Longfellow Ranch is in the Big Bend Country of West Texas, which is known for game and lodging.

Data provided by The Land Report.

#19 The Holding Family owns 400,000 acres

Robert Earl Holding's success began in the oil industry where he owns three refineries and bought Sinclair Oil in 1976.

He has holdings in many states: ranches in Wyoming and Montana; ski resorts in Utah and Idaho; six other luxury hotels and resorts across the country, including The Grand American Hotel in Salt Lake City.

Data provided by The Land Report.

#18 The J.R. Simplot Heirs own 422,164 acres

The J.R. Simplot Company started its fortune in potatoes but diversified over the years to become one of the largest, privately held food companies in the world.

They own agribusiness land in Idaho. The land and livestock division has more than 30 farms and 15 ranches with capacity for 30,000 mother cows.

Data provided by The Land Report.

#16 Phillip Anschutz owns 434,500 acres

Sports mogul Anschutz and one of his many drilling rigs

Phillip Anschutz's company has investments in energy exploration, telecommunications and agribusiness. His Anschutz Entertainment Group is also the world's largest owner and operator of sports and entertainment venues.

He owns the 250,000-acre Baughman Farms in Kansas; 149,493-acre Overland Trail Cattle Company & Ranch in Wyoming and 35,000 acres in Colorado.

Data provided by The Land Report.

#15 D.M. O'Connor Heirs own 500,000 acres

Port O'Connor, Texas -- a town named for its largest landholder

D.M. O'Connor (pictured) continued to expand the land his father, Thomas O'Connor, was awarded in the Battle of San Jacinto. Oil was discovered on their cattle ranches and today, the O'Connors now own an estimated half-million acres across Southern and Western Texas.Data provided by The Land Report.

#14 W.T. Waggoner Estate owns 535,000 acres

The late W.T. Waggoner and his ranch

W.T. Waggoner began expanding his father's ranching interests and established what is known today as the W.T. Waggoner Estate.

The estate owns ranching and farmland throughout Texas.

Data provided by The Land Report.

#13 The Briscoe Family owns 560,000 acres

Former Texas Governor Dolph Briscoe Jr., expanded his holdings when oil and gas were discovered on his ranchland.

The family owns ranchlands and oilfields throughout Texas.

Data provided by The Land Report.

#12 The Lykes Bros. Heirs own 615,000 acres

The Lykes family-owned company began as a cattle ranching operation and has since expanded into bioenergy and farming. They own ranchlands and farms in Texas and Florida.

Data provided by The Land Report.

#11 The Ford Family owns 625,000 acres

The late Kenneth Ford and his lumber empire

The Ford family's Roseburg Forest Products had its origins in 1936 when the Roseburg Lumber Company was founded by owner Kenneth Ford. They own timberland throughout Oregon and California.

Data provided by The Land Report.

#10 The Reed Family owns 730,000 acres

After Mark Reed married the daughter of Sol Simpson at the turn of the century, the Reed family continues to operate the privately owned Simpson Investment Company, one of the oldest forest products companies in the Pacific Northwest.

They own 730,000 acres of timber across California, Oregon, and Washington.

Data provided by The Land Report.

#9 The Pingree Heirs own 830,000 acres

The Pingree family's fortune in timber began in the mid 1800s and has conserved more than three quarters of a million acres of Maine forestland.

Data provided by The Land Report.

#8 Stan Kroenke owns 848,571 acres

Kroenke and his cows

The sports mogul who got his start in real estate increased his oldings this year with the purchase of Montana's 123,000-acre Broken O Ranch for a reported $US132.5 million.

He owns cow-calf operations on Cedar Creek and PV Ranch in Montana; Q Creek Land & Livestock Company runs up to 12,000 yearlings on 550,000+ acres in Wyoming.

Data provided by The Land Report.

#7 King Ranch owns 911,215 acres

King Ranch operates 825,000 acres of cattle ranches and 60,000 acres of farms in South Texas, and thousands of acres in Florida producing orange juice, sugar cane, sod, sweet corn and green beans.

Primary revenue for King Ranch remains ranching and farming but it has also expanded into publishing, retail and eco-tourism.

Data provided by The Land Report.

#6 The Singleton Family owns 1.1 million acres

Henry Singleton amassed his wealth in digital technology before purchasing the San Cristobal Ranch in 1986. The Singleton family's holdings are comprised of ranches across California and New Mexico, including the picturesque San Cristobal Ranch outside of Santa Fe.

Data provided by The Land Report.

#5 The Irving Family owns 1.25 million acres

Jim Irving and his Maine acres

The Canadian company, Irving Woodlands, has roots dating back to 1882 when James D. Irving founded a company that included a sawmill, gristmill, lumber business and farms. Their U.S. landholdings are centered in Maine.

Data provided by The Land Report.

#4 Brad Kelley owns 1.5 million acres

Kelley founded a tobacco company in 1990 and sold it for $US1 billion in 2001. His properties span Texas, New Mexico, and Florida and are used to breed rare species of animals.

Data provided by The Land Report.

#3 The Emmerson Family owns 1.86 million acres

Red Emmerson in California

Red Emmerson is president of Sierra Pacific Industries, a family-run lumber manufacturing business that ranks as California's largest private landowner. He owns just under two million acres of forestland in California and Washington, and added 20,000 acres in 2012.

Data provided by The Land Report.

#2 Ted Turner owns 2 million+ acres

Image: Turner Enterprises

Ted Turner founded the Turner Broadcasting System that launched CNN and several other cable successful programs.

He owns 2 million acres in 12 states and Argentina. He recently acquired the 8,800-acre Nonami Plantation, known for quail hunting, in his home state of Georgia. This year he bought the historic Sierra Grande Lodge and Spa in Truth or Consequences, NM.

Data provided by The Land Report.

#1 John Malone owns 2.2 million acres

Malone has served in executive positions in telecommunications firms and is currently the chairman of Liberty Media Corp.

He nabbed the top spot from his friend and business partner Ted Turner in 2011 when he purchased a million acres of woods in Maine and New Hampshire. This year he added an Irish castle outside Dublin and two properties in Florida's equestrian country to his holdings.

Data provided by The Land Report.

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