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This Land Is Their Land

Can you imagine owning this much space? I comfortably utilize 730 square feet in Vancouver with my family of four. If my calculator is correct, this guy is now going to have to get by with a paltry 91 476 000 000 square feet of land.

Tiny. Tiny. Tiny.

He can have the 30 square feet we rarely use if he starts feeling claustrophobic sometime down the road.

The New York Times

John C. Malone, a media mogul who is on the verge of buying nearly one million acres of timberland in Maine, could soon become the largest private landowner in the United States, catapulting him ahead of Ted Turner on the list of those who accumulate earth the way others accumulate, say, bison.

The Flying D Green Ranch near Bozeman, Mont., accounts for part of Ted Turner’s domestic land holdings.

Mr. Malone, who lives in Colorado, is chairman of Liberty Media and has extensive holdings in QVC, the cable channel; Expedia.com, the travel Web site; and Sirius XM satellite radio. Liberty Media also owns the Atlanta Braves, which Mr. Turner once owned. Last year, Forbes ranked Mr. Malone as the 110th richest person in America, and though he has been an aggressive media player for decades, he has operated largely out of the limelight.

He intends to keep the land as a working forest, aides said, and will continue to supply timber to local paper mills and keep the land open to the public for recreation. Environmentalists are “cautiously optimistic” that Mr. Malone will not develop the land, said Cathy Johnson of the Natural Resources Council of Maine.

Mr. Malone owns various parcels of land around the country, including more than 68,000 undeveloped acres in Maine and the 290,000-acre Bell Ranch in New Mexico. Once he buys roughly 980,000 acres in Maine’s North Woods and about 20,000 acres in neighboring New Hampshire, under a deal to be completed by Tuesday, he will own 2.1 million acres nationwide.

Mr. Turner, who is a longtime friend of Mr. Malone’s, owns about 2 million acres in the United States, much of it ranch land, and he also owns about 100,000 acres in Argentina. He raises more than 50,000 head of bison across his various ranches and has long reined as America’s No. 1 land holder.

“The odds are, when the tabulations are done and this transaction closes, Mr. Malone definitely will be America’s largest landowner,” said Eric O’Keefe, editor of The Land Report, a magazine that keeps track of such things.



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