J.D. Irving, Limited Is One of the Largest Landowners in the U.S.

Image: The Canadian Press

Robert Irving talked about creating a “footprint” in the southern United States during a recent announcement of a $400-million tissue plant Irving Consumer Products plans to build in Georgia.

This adds to the already sizeable footprint made by J.D. Irving, Limited in the U.S. as the nation’s sixth largest landowner.

In the 2016 Land Report 100 – an annual list compiled by The Land Report: The Magazine of the American Landowner – JDI is reported to own 1.246-million acres of land in Northern Maine. That’s a large number indeed, but it’s still a much smaller footprint than the one they have in the Maritimes.

“In the United States, Irving Woodlands has managed timberlands in Northern Maine for more than 60 years,” says the Land Report. “It currently oversees 1.246 million acres; all are certified under the Forest Stewardship Council program. Related entities in Canada own an additional 2 million acres of timberlands in New Brunswick and Nova Scotia.”

The Irvings were number six on the list. Here are the top five:

1. John Malone, 2.2 million acres

John Malone is the single largest landowner in the United States with 2.2 million acres of land. According to Business Insider, he is nicknamed the “Cable Cowboy” for his telecommunications ventures and moved ahead of Ted Turner in 2010 as the country’s largest individual landowner when he bought a 290,100-acre ranch in New Mexico.

2. Ted Turner — 2 million acres

According to Business Insider, the billionaire media mogul owns land in 10 different states and has cultivated a herd of 51,000 bison spread across 15 of his ranches in an effort to restore the country’s endangered bison population.

3. Emmerson Family, 1.95 million acres

“Next time you drive past a construction site, take a close look at the frames being hoisted into place. Or the windows and the doors,” says The Land Report. “Don’t be surprised if you spy this family’s Sierra Pacific Industries (SPI) logo stamped on some, if not all, of the materials. The nation’s second-largest lumber producer owns 14 sawmills and close to two million acres of timberland in California and Washington.”

4. Stan Kroenke, 1.38 million acres

“[In 2016] the owner of the Los Angeles Rams, the Denver Nuggets, and numerous other sports franchises added the historic Waggoner Ranch to his stable of ranch holdings. Spanning six Texas counties and covering almost 800 square miles, the 510,527-acre ranch’s asking price was $725 million,” says The Land Report. “Kroenke Ranches also acquired Wyoming’s Difficulty Creek Ranch near Medicine Bow, which includes 11,260 deeded acres and 10,976 leased acres.”

5. Reed Family, 1.37 million acres

“One of the oldest continuously operating forest products companies in the Pacific Northwest, the Reed family’s Green Diamond Resource Company got its start in 1890,” says The Land Report. “Now in its fifth generation of operation, Green Diamond is headquartered in Seattle and has holdings in California, Oregon, and Washington.