Largest private land owners in the United States

Top 12 Largest Landowners In The United States In 2024

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The old saying about land is that “they aren't making any more of it.”

While many view investments in land as a solid choice for consistent returns, these groups have taken it to the extreme.

Each year, a well-known publication called The Land Report puts out a Land Report 100 list.

The Land Report 100

This is the 100 largest private landowners in the United States.

According to the 2022 Land Report 100, these are the 12 largest private landowners in the United States.

Today, we'll be covering how much land they own, where it is, what type of land it is as well as how they amassed their properties.

12 Largest Landowners In The United States based on 2022 Land Report 100 list

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1. Emmerson Family – 2,411,000 Acres

Archie Aldis “Red” Emmerson and his family collectively are the largest private landowner in the United States. Particularly, they invest in timberland.

His company Sierra Pacific Industries is the largest private lumber production firm in the United States.

Sierra Pacific

They own 14 different sawmills sprawling across the country. Red started SPI with his father back in 1949.

Despite being 94 years old, Red reportedly still drives his pickup truck to work himself before 8 am, 6 days a week. Red and his team also capitalize on wildfires, going in when most people are getting out.

Forbes estimates that the Emmerson Family has made more money from logging after forest fires than anyone else in America.

2. John Malone – 2,200,000 Acres

Billionaire John Malone has the title of the 2nd largest private landowner in the United States. His fortune was made in the media space, where he still owns many media assets we all binge today.

Currently the chairman and largest shareholder of Liberty Media, he also owns part of Discovery Communications – known for the Discovery Channel among other things.


He also owns part of the sports team the Atlanta Braves.

Thanks to his landownership and media assets, his net worth is now a staggering $9.9 Billion.

After spending a summer in Pennsylvania, he decided to go on a massive land-buying spree that largely has not stopped. He owns land across the country.

Keep on reading, or check out our video on the Top 10 Landowners In America below!

3. Ted Turner – 2,000,000 Acres

Ted Turner is most well known for his involvement in television production.

Ted Turner top landowner

He was the founder of the Cable News Network, the very first 24-hour cable news channel.

Most of the land that Turner owns is ranches. These are referred to as “Turner Ranches.

Each one operates as a working business, supported by bison, hunting, fishing and tourism.

The ranches are also using cutting-edge practices for water conservation as well as timber management, as well as releasing native species back into the wild land.

Across all of the ranches, Turner Enterprises manages more than 51,000 head of bison on 15 Turner Ranches. 

These ranches sprawl out across 7 states in the US.

4. Reed Family – 1,661,000 Acres

What happens when a failed logger marries into a family with massive control in the logging industry? You get the 4th largest landowner in the United States.

Reed was hired in 1897 to manage the Simpson Logging Company. Reed married Simpson's daughter in 1901.

Simpson logging company

After Simpson died in 1906, Reed assumed control of Simpson Logging.

In 2014, a 600,000 acre timberland purchase in Oregon is what landed them on this list.

This family owns prime forest land across California, Washington and Oregon.

5. Stan Kroenke – 1,627,500 Acres

Kroenke Ranches is quickly becoming one of America's largest renewable energy landlords.

In 2016, he completed what was deemed the most expensive ranch sale ever. The 510,000-acre ranch he purchased is believed to be the largest ranch behind a single fence in the United States.

Stan earned most of his wealth from sports.

Stan Kroenke landowner

He is the owner of the NFL team Los Angeles Rams, among other sports teams.

6. Irving Family – 1,267,792 Acres

This family owns land exclusively in the state of Maine. This makes them the single largest landowner in this state.

Outside of the United States, this family owns a whopping 2 million acres of land in Nova Scotia and New Brunswick Canada.

Irving Lumber

They also own all 3 English-language newspapers in New Brunswick.

One of the key initiatives of the Irving Family is planting trees. In the US and Canada, they plant around 20 Million trees annually.

To date, they have planted over 1 Billion trees. Outside of newspapers, they are also involved in the oil business.

7. Buck Family – 1,236,000 Acres

Next on the list, we have the co-founder of Subway!

Peter Buck top timberland owner

Peter Buck and his family own a lot of timberland, and are rapidly expanding their land portfolio.

In 2020, they acquired an additional 311,000 acres of timberland in Maine.

8. Singleton Family – 1,110,000 Acres

The Singleton Ranches started in 1986 with their first land purchase in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

Singleton wanted to specifically preserve the ranching heritage that has been around in New Mexico for hundreds of years. Singleton's family raises and breeds horses and cows on this land today.

Singleton was an electrical engineer. At one point, he was elected to the National Academy of Engineering. He was the co-founder of Teledyne, Inc a publicly traded industrial conglomerate.

Singleton Ranches

Dr. Singleton passed away in 1999, but now his 5 children continue operating his ranches on his behalf carrying on his mission.

9. Brad Kelley – 1,000,000 Acres

Brad Kelley is a tobacco billionaire. 

His most well-known brand of tobacco is USA Gold.

Brad Kelley top land owner

Kelley owns ranches in Texas and New Mexico.

10. King Ranch Heirs – 911,215 Acres

Henry King amassed his fortunes as a steamboat captain. He diversified his wealth into land over the course of many years.

However, most of his fame comes from the sprawling King Ranch, dating back to the 1800s. 

King Family top landowner USA

The reputation of King Ranch is a hallmark of Texas history, and hosts many cultural touchstones, including museums, wildlife walks, hunting tours, education programs, and many other cultural-community functions.

11. Pingree Heirs – 830,000 Acres

David Pingree was a merchant in Massachusetts in the mid-1800s. He became known as the Merchant Prince of Salem due to the vast size of his business.

Throughout his lifetime, he amassed nearly a million acres of land throughout the northeast.

Pingtree Family

Today, his descendants own roughly 830,000 acres of land passed on from generation to generation.

12. Briscoe Family – 738,000 Acres

The Briscoe Ranch are second only to the famous King Ranch in terms of size.

The family's first land was purchased from the Mexican government in the 1820's.

Dolph Briscoe Jr was the former Governor of Texas from 1973 to 1979. Today, his son manages the Briscoe Ranch.

This includes over 15,000 heads of cattle.

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