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- Land is probably the oldest asset in human history.
- According to The Land Report’s annual list of the top private landowners in the US, the 20 biggest individual and family landowners in the country own over a half-million acres each.
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While corporations can always offer more stock, and governments can always issue more bonds, there is one asset that has had a pretty fixed supply on earth for the last several million years: Land. And some Americans own quite a lot of that asset.
The Land Report publishes an annual ranking of the biggest private landowners in the US, as measured by total acreage. According to their most recent list, each of the 20 individuals and families that own the most land hold over a half-million acres each.
Many of the biggest landowners are families with deep, inter-generational roots, holding vast swathes of ranch or timberland across the country for decades. Some are more recent entries, with successful businesspeople in industries like telecommunications or fast food investing their wealth in the world’s oldest asset.
Here are the 20 biggest private landowners in the US as of 2018, according to The Land Report:
20. The Stimson family owns 552,000 acres of timberland in the western US.
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The Stimson family has owned the Stimson Lumber Company for six generations, according to the company. The company owns over 500,000 acres of forest land in Oregon, Idaho, and Montana, and operates seven lumber mills in Oregon and Idaho.
19. The Martin family’s lumber company owns and manages 570,000 acres of forest.
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The Martin family owns and operates the RoyOMartin lumber company, founded three generations ago in Louisiana. The company is a subsidiary of the family’s equity investment firm, Martin Sustainable Resources.
18. The Ford family owns 580,000 acres of timberland across the US.
AP Photo/Rick Bowmer
The Ford family owns Roseburg Forest Products, a timber and wood company that holds forest land in Oregon, Virginia, and North Carolina. The company also operates several wood-products factories and plants across North America.
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