The annual ranking includes the founder of CNN, the owner of Formula 1, and a Chinese online gaming tycoon
The Emmerson family, which owns lumber producer Sierra Pacific Industries, has been listed as America’s largest landowner this year, according to an annual ranking compiled by the Land Report, a US-based magazine focused on private land ownership in the US.
According to the report, the Emmersons own a little over 2.4 million acres (about 1 million hectares) of land in the states of California, Oregon and Washington through their business. Founded in 1947 by Curly Emmerson, Sierra Pacific is run today by Archie ‘Red’ Emmerson and his sons. The family has been atop the list since 2021, when it acquired 175,000 acres in Oregon from the Seneca Timber Company.
The second-largest landowner is media mogul John Malone, who has 2.2 million acres across Wyoming, New Mexico, Florida and Colorado. Malone owns Liberty Media Corporation, the assets of which include the Formula 1 racing championship.
Rounding out the top three is CNN founder Ted Turner, who owns about 2 million acres, a holding that some experts have noted is roughly equivalent in size to Yellowstone National Park.
Real estate and sports tycoon Stan Kroenke, the owner of a number of sizable ranches, is the fourth largest landowner with 1.7 million acres. The Reed family, owners of the forestry company Simpson Investment, took fifth place in the ranking with 1.66 million acres.
The ranking featured four other landowners with more than 1 million acres in their possession, including the Irving family from Canada (1.27 million acres), whose corporation has businesses in logging, shipbuilding and retail; the Buck clan (1.24 million acres), founders of the fast-food chain Subway; the Singleton family (1.1 million acres), owners of cattle and horse ranches, and Brad Kelly (1 million acres), founder of the tobacco company Commonwealth Brands.
The list also features Amazon owner Jeff Bezos (#25 with 420,000 acres) and Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates (#42 with 275,000 acres), who was America’s largest farmland owner in 2020.
Chen Tianqiao, a Chinese national who made his fortune in online gaming, joined the list for the first time and emerged as the second biggest individual owner of American land by a non-US citizen after the Irvings, ranking 82nd with 198,000 acres of Oregon timberland.
The Land Report, which covers the 100 largest owners of land in the US, is based on data from a range of sources, including county tax records, financial reports and corporate press releases, as well as personal disclosures by the landowners or their representatives.
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January 15, 2024 at 11:01AM