The Land Report 100: Who is America’s Largest Landowner?

The Land Report 100: Who is America’s Largest Landowner?

By Eric O'Keefe

Photography By Trey Lyda

Sponsored by Peoples Company

LA ESCALERA RANCH, Brewster, Pecos County, Texas.


223,000-ACRE LA ESCALERA RANCH. Brewster and Pecos Counties, Texas.

Published On: January 1, 20241.8 min read
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Who is America’s largest landowner? This question is the quest of the Land Report 100 Research Team all year long.

In 2024, America’s largest landowner is Red Emmerson. Red and his family own 2,411,000 acres in California, Oregon, and Washington through their timber-products company, Sierra Pacific Industries. The Emmersons became America’s largest landowners in 2021 when they acquired 175,000 acres in Oregon from Seneca Timber Company. With that acquisition, the Emmersons surpassed Liberty Media chairman John Malone’s 2,200,000 acres. CNN founder Ted Turner is America’s third largest landowner with 2 million acres in the Southeast, on the Great Plains, and across the West.

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The Land Report 100 Research Team analyzes transactions and scours records to determine America’s leading landowners. That’s how we broke the news in 2020 that Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates was America’s largest farmland owner with almost 250,000 acres. That’s how we identified Shanda Investment Group founder Tianqiao Chen as the owner of almost 200,000 acres of Oregon timberland in 2024. It’s one of the many reasons why news organizations worldwide rely on the Magazine of the American Landowner to understand this asset class.

Since day one, the Land Report 100 has been recognized as the gold standard. The Wall Street Journal profiled our premiere survey, which ran in April 2007. The Washington Post did a deep dive on the continued acquisitions by this group. No one has done a better job of illuminating the extent and reach of our survey than Bloomberg, which crafted a remarkable interpretation of our painstaking research.

Invariably, I am asked about sources. They range from county tax records to financial reports and corporate press releases. As the Voice of the American Landowner, we enjoy one final advantage — the trust and confidence of America’s leading landowners themselves. Whenever possible, we verify the figures cited with landowners, their designated representatives, or their trusted advisors.


HATS OFF! Congratulations to the Land Report 100 Class of 2023!

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