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If you picture the state of Montana as rolling hills for cattle grazing and gorgeous wide-open spaces with mountain views, you’ve got it just about right.
It is a sparsely populated state, to be sure. A total of 45 of its 55 counties are considered frontier land, where there are around 6 people per square mile. This is unprecedented for the fourth-largest state in the nation.
Cattle ranching has brought about a thriving income for the state since the early 1800s. More than 25,000 farm and land operations take up 60% of land in this large US state.
Along with cattle, you will find a wide range of wildlife, some of which you will hope not to come across, such as grizzly bears and bison; others that would make great photos for Instagram, like pelicans, golden eagles, and moose.
The state’s money-making businesses are mining and agriculture. Montana’s largest landowners have figured this out, as most are involved in one of these two endeavors.
Of course, as with any US state, not all land is privately owned. State and federal governments own nearly 35% of the State of Montana.
Here is a list of the top 10 landowners in Montana:
Top Landowners In Montana
|1. The Federal Government||27,000,000|
|2. The State of Montana||5,000,000|
|3. The Wilks Brothers||672,000|
|4. The Farris Family||640,000|
|5. The Sunlight Ranch Company||150,000|
|6. The Turner Family||148,000|
|7. The Fidelity Investments company||145,000|
|8. The Singleton Family||100,000|
|9. The Crowley Family||95,000|
|9. The Crowley Family||88,000|
1. The Federal Government
The largest landowner in Montana is the federal government, with over 27 million acres of land.
This includes national parks, forests, wildlife refuges, and military bases.
2. The State of Montana
Montana's second-largest landowner is the state, with over 5 million acres of land.
This land is used for various purposes, including conservation, recreation, and resource management.
3. The Wilks Brothers
The Wilks Brothers, based in Texas, own around 672,000 acres of land in Montana.
They are involved in diverse industries, including oil and gas, ranching, and real estate development.
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4. The Farris Family
The Farris family, based in Montana, owns around 640,000 acres of land in the state.
They are involved in different industries, including timber, ranching, and real estate.
5. The Sunlight Ranch Company
The Sunlight Ranch Company, based in Montana, owns around 150,000 acres of land in the state.
They are involved in diverse industries, including hospitality, agriculture, and conservation.
6. The Turner Family
Based in Montana, the Turner family owns around 148,000 acres of land in the state.
They are involved in varied industries, including ranching, conservation, and hospitality.
7. The Fidelity Investments company
The Fidelity Investments company, based in Massachusetts, owns around 145,000 acres of land in Montana.
They are involved in a range of industries, including timber, ranching, and conservation.
8. The Singleton Family
The Singleton family, based in Montana, owns around 100,000 acres of land in the state.
They are involved in a range of industries, including ranching, energy, and real estate.
9. The Crowley Family
The Crowley family, based in Montana, owns around 95,000 acres of land in the state.
They are involved in a range of industries, including ranching, real estate, and hospitality.
10. The King Family
The King family, based in Montana, owns around 88,000 acres of land in the state.
They are involved in a range of industries, including ranching, energy, and conservation.
As you can see, the largest landowners take advantage of Montana’s natural resources.
The uninhabited frontier land is the perfect setting for grazing cattle, and there are abundant sources for mining for gold, silver, lead, and precious gems.