Meet the Largest Landowners in Ohio

Written by Taiwo Victor
Updated: May 12, 2023
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There are numerous advantages to owning land. For starters, owning land can yield good rewards. In general, land is a long-term asset that is tangible, useable, and in limited supply. Since land is in short supply, long-term patterns indicate that it will continue to appreciate over time. Unlike other investments like stocks and commodities, land is always in demand.

Land ownership in Ohio comes with lots of advantages. Aside from the incredibly magnificent scenery this state has to offer, owning land in Ohio is a sound investment. Average property prices in Ohio are considered very low in comparison to national averages, making it attractive to many real estate investors. Who are the largest landowners in the Buckeye State? This article uncovers the three largest landowners in Ohio and other interesting facts.

The 3 Largest Landowners in Ohio

1. Escanaba Timber, LLC. – 150,000 Acres

Wood Used for Furniture

Ohio’s largest private landowner is Escanaba Timber, LLC.

©Marko Aliaksandr/

With over 150,000 acres of land, Escanaba Timber, LLC. is Ohio’s largest private land owner. Escanaba Timber LLC, founded in 2005, is a paper and forest products firm in Dayton, OH. The corporation makes and distributes furniture and other wood items in the United States.

2. Bill Gates – 9,000 Acres

Bill Gates

Bill Gates is currently the largest private farmland owner in the United States.

©Frederic Legrand – COMEO/

According to The Land Report, Bill Gates is currently the largest private farmland owner in the United States, with about 268,000 acres of diverse farmland in 19 states, including nearly 9,000 acres in Ohio. Louisiana has the most acres at a little over 69,000, followed by Arkansas at over 48,000 and Nebraska at 20,588.

Bill Gates is a pioneer in American technology who co-founded Microsoft. Gates is a well-known software developer, philanthropist, business entrepreneur, and investor. With a net worth of $125 billion, he is also the fourth richest individual on the planet. Gates’ own American farmlands are estimated to be valued at $690 million.

3. The Nature Conservancy – 1,000 Acres

The Nature Conservancy

The Nature Conservancy owns 1,000 acres of forest land in Southern Ohio.

©ajay_suresh / CC BY 2.0 – License

The Nature Conservancy purchased roughly 1,000 acres of forest land in Southern Ohio, bringing it closer to establishing an undisturbed wildlife corridor along the Ohio River. The recent purchase was the conservation group’s largest in Ohio.

The Nature Conservancy is a worldwide ecological organization based in Arlington, Virginia. As of 2021, it operates through affiliates or branches in 79 countries and territories and every state in the United States. The Nature Conservancy, founded in 1951, has more than one million members worldwide and has conserved over 119,000,000 acres of land in its existence. As of 2014, it was the largest environmental non-profit organization in the Americas in terms of assets and revenue.

Summary of the Largest Landowners in Ohio

Here’s a recap of the top 3 owners of land in the state of Ohio:

RankLandownerLand Size
1Escanaba Timber, LLC.150,000 acres
2Bill Gates9,000 acres
3The Nature Conservancy1,000 acres

Who Is the Largest Landowner in the United States?

The government holds over 640 million acres of land of the 2.27 billion total land acres in the United States. It is managed by four management entities with the objectives of natural resource preservation, recreation, and development.

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM), Forest Service (FS), Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS), and National Park Service (NPS) are the agencies involved. Furthermore, the Department of Defense manages around 8.8 million acres for military training and testing, among other things.

Who Is the Largest Private Land Owner in the United States?

The Emmerson Family of California, owners of Sierra Pacific Industries (SPI), purchased 175,000 acres in Oregon from Seneca Jones Timber in 2021. That deal, disclosed on October 1, increased the family’s holdings to over 2.33 million deeded acres, making them the biggest private land owner in the United States.

Emmerson began his career in the wood products industry in 1949, when he collaborated with his father to handle a leased mill in northern California that had been dormant. His sons, George and Mark, are SPI’s chairman and CEO, respectively. Carolyn Dietz, his daughter, oversees the family’s Sierra Pacific Foundation, which has given nearly $34 million to community projects and scholarships.

What Are the Five Types of Property Rights?

When you close on a property, you acquire the rights to possession, control, exclusion, enjoyment, and disposition. This bundle of rights provides you with all the rights you would anticipate as a property owner. A bundle of rights is a legal term for the package of legal rights that a real estate buyer typically receives with the transfer of the title. Real estate ownership entails a complicated set of rights, and the bundle of rights concept has typically been used to characterize and summarize such rights.

These rights, however, can be divided and transferred to multiple parties. This is typically true for commercial and investment property transactions. For example, the purchase of a rental property may have rights limited by local landlord-tenant rules and regulations, or the owner of a storefront asset may share certain rights with the tenant who operates a business there.

Can the U.S. Government Seize Your Property?

The ability of the government to take private property and convert it to public use is called eminent domain. The Fifth Amendment states that the government may only use this power provided the property owners are fairly compensated.

Up Next:

Discover the Deepest Lake in Ohio 

10 Great Hiking Mountains In Ohio 

17 Best Annual Flowers For Ohio Gardens 

Meet the Largest Land Owners in Michigan

The photo featured at the top of this post is © ajay_suresh / CC BY 2.0 – License / Original

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About the Author

For six years, I have worked as a professional writer and editor for books, blogs, and websites, with a particular focus on animals, tech, and finance. When I'm not working, I enjoy playing video games with friends.

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