Idaho’s Largest Land Owner Doesn’t Live In The State
Idaho is one of the country's largest geographical states and one of the fastest-growing states in the nation. Fortunately, we're also one of the least populated states, which means we have a lot of land for all Idahoans. Or do we? Have you ever wondered who owns the land in Idaho? We've looked at how much land is owned by the state, the federal government, and private citizens.
A quick look at the size of our great state courtesy of Wikipedia. Idaho is the 14th largest state in land area and the 13th least populated state in our nation. The Gem State consists of 83,570 square miles.
Idaho is one of the few states where the federal government owns more land than the state itself. The feds use the agencies such as the Bureau of Land Management and the US Forest Service to oversee our land. These federal agencies determine whether or not our forests are correctly maintained. Idaho elected officials have lobbied for years to regain control of the grounds. They rightly believe our continued wildfires could be prevented if the state was allowed to maintain the forests.
Top 5 States Owned By The Federal Government
So who owns the remaining 38.37% of land in Idaho? According to the latest edition of 'The Land Report,' the state's largest landowners are billionaires. A pair of famous out-of-state folks from Texas owns the most land in the state, owning 675,000 acres. We've covered their attempts to limit folks from using public lands, including hiring private security folks roaming around the state carrying guns. The Wilks Brothers are known for their massive contributions to conservative causes and candidates. You can read more about them here.
Potatoes and Idaho go together like hamburgers and french fries. The JR Simplot Company trails the Texans in owning 443,000 acres of Idaho land. The company continues to employ Idahoans while being privately held. We have yet to learn how much of their land is used for farmland or recreation.
If you're a fan of skiing, then you'll be happy to know that the owners of Sun Valley are right behind Simplot, owning 395,000 acres. The Holdings family is privately held owning entertainment resorts in the West. Sun Valley was once again recognized as America's best ski resort by the readers of Ski Magazine.
Finally, our friend Big Frank Vandersloot of Melaleuca owns 158 acres of land in our state. Mr. Vandersloot is known for his conservative politics and his charitable giving. This story was first reported by the Boisedev.
The New York Times profiled the recent rush to buy land in Idaho and across the west. You can read that story here.