Among the major movers on this year’s list is nationally known homebuilder D.R. Horton, founder and chairman of DR Horton Inc. (DHI), who acquired New Mexico’s 457-square-mile Great Western Ranch. This transaction landed Horton at No. 32 on the 2014 list. Horton purchased the 292,779-acre Great Western from Denver investor Patrick Broe. But don’t worry about Broe. Thanks to holdings in Colorado and Wyoming, he stayed on the list at No. 76.
And that wasn’t even the biggest sale. The Reed family, owners of Green Diamond Resource Company, acquired 600,000 acres of Oregon timberland from the estate of Richard Wendt, founder of JELD-WEN Windows & Doors. The purchase upped the Reeds from No. 10 in 2013 to No. 5 in 2014. This swath of rural Oregon is almost the same size as Rhode Island and is the largest land transaction in the U.S. since Liberty Media Chairman John Malone acquired more than 1 million acres of timberland in Maine and New Hampshire in 2011. That buy put Malone atop The Land Report 100, where he remains in 2014 with 2.2 million acres. His good friend and fellow cable entrepreneur Ted Turner is No. 2 with more than 2 million acres. Rounding out the top five are California’s Emmerson family with 1.86 million acres, Kentucky billionaire Brad Kelley with 1.5 million acres, and the Seattle-based Reeds with 1.37 million acres.
In all, private holdings increased by nearly 500,000 acres since the 2013 Land Report 100 was completed.
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