John Malone, a Colorado billionaire who earlier this year bought nearly 1 million acres of forestland in Maine, has been named the country's top landowner.
With about 2.2 million acres, Malone ranked No. 1 on The Land Report's list of the Top 100 landowners in the country. Malone is chairman of Liberty Media Corp., which has holdings that include shopping channel QVC, travel website Expedia.com and the Atlanta Braves baseball team. Malone's company, BBC Land LLC, in February bought 1.1 million acres in Maine and New Hampshire from GMO Renewable Resources, according to the Bangor Daily News. There was no word on the value of the deal, but GMO purchased more than 1 million acres from International Paper for approximately $250 million in 2004. At the time, a BBC Land consultant said Malone planned to continue managing the land as working forests and did not expect to change wood-supply contracts with Verso Paper. The land is located in Washington and Hancock counties, as well as near Rangeley.
Malone is not Maine's largest landowner, however. Irving Woodlands owns more than 1 million acres and is the state's largest private landowner; the Irving family ranked No. 5 on The Land Report's list. The Pingree family, which manages land first bought by David Pingree in 1841 under Seven Islands Land Co., ranked No. 8.