Who is America's largest landowner?
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Ted Turner has lost his title as America's largest individual landowner. John Malone, the 70-year-old television pioneer and chairman of Liberty Media, now owns 2.2 million acres after purchasing 1 million of those acres earlier this year.
LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Ted Turner remains a close second with slightly more than 2 million acres in his name.
Malone and Turner happen to be longtime friends and Malone credits Turner with getting him started on acquiring land as a new form of investment.
John Malone owns the majority of his property in Colorado, New Mexico, Wyoming, Maine, and New Hampshire. His most recent purchase of 1,000,000 acres was of woodland property in Maine and New Hampshire.
Malone says that he is motivated by his Irish ancestry. As his ancestors were denied land, he confesses to having a certain "hunger" for it. He also says that he believes in conservation of the land and natural resources. He has pledged to serve as a good steward of the land he holds.
Many investors, particularly those often called the ultra-rich, are looking for safe investments. While many investors are cash-rich they are reluctant to put their money into traditional investments such as the stock market because of the recession and persistent volatility there. However land is generally a good investment, particularly when land values are as low as they are now.
Malone pointed out that buying land is an excellent hedge against a volatile economy.
What remains to be seen is whether these members of the ultra-rich will care for their newly acquired lands, recognizing their obligation of stewardship. Or, will the the ultra-rich simply exploit them for further personal economic gain prove to have some validity? The truth is that it is not the posessions themselves but our realtionship to them which determines their use or abuse. That is true no matter what our personal economic condition.
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