News from the Knoff Group

Top Five Largest Land Owners in Montana

Montana is a land of wide open spaces and large tracts of privately held land.  Just for fun, here is a list of the 5 largest landowners in Montana according to a February 2013 article by Brett French in the Billings Gazette.

1. 278,001 acres. Farris & Dan Wilks.  Billionaire brothers that sold their Frac Tec business in Cisco Texas for over $3 Billion in 2011.  Acreage spans multiple ranches and counties in eastern Montana. Largest single ranch owned is the N Bar Ranch in Fergus County.

2. 248,023 acres.  Errol & Sharrie Galt.  Members of 71 Ranch LP – oversees ranch management in the Townsend, Martinsdale and Ingomar areas.

3. 190634 acres. Sunlight Ranch/Robert Earl Holding.  Holding is the CEO of Sinclair oil company and owns Sun Valley and Snowbasin Ski Resorts amongst other western land holdings.  He is ranked 19th on biggest land owners in the United States.

4. 168,188 acres. Coffee-Nefsy LP. Ranches in Miles City area.   Descendents of Montana rodeo hall of fame honoree C.M. Coffee and his wife, Virginia Nefsy, heiress to the founders of Stockman Bank of Montana. William Coffee is now chairman and CEO of Stockman Bank and Caren is a director of Stockman Financial Corp.

5. 154,681 acres. Turner Enterprises Incorporate and Turner Ranch Properties,  These are owned by Ted Turner, founder of Turner Broadcasting, CNN news outlets and Ted’s Montana Grill restaurants. According to a 2012 NY Times article, Turner is the 2nd largest land owner in the US and owns about 2 million acres across 12 states. In Montana, Turner owns the Flying D Ranch in the southwestern part of the state which encompasses the northern portion of the Spanish Peaks, stretching from the Gallatin to Madison rivers.  Turner additionally owns the Snowcrest Ranch near Dillon and the Bar None near Maudlow.