List of 10 Largest Landowners in Wisconsin Has Some Surprises
The state of Wisconsin covers nearly 35 million acres. Over 8 million of those acres are owned by just 10 different entities, including the federal government.
Wisconsin is America's Dairyland
Of Wisconsin's nearly 35 million acres, almost half (16 million) is forested land, and over half of that land is privately owned.
Wisconsin is 295 miles from east to west, and 320 miles from north to south. Wisconsin's most impressive feature, in my opinion, is the 400 miles of shoreline on the Great Lakes.
When I saw the list of Illinois' largest landowners and the number of individuals who owned large chucks, like Bill Gates, I thought I'd see some names of other very wealthy individuals on Wisconsin's largest landowner list. There's a recognizable family name, but nowhere on the Top 10 list is there just a solo individual owning a large chunk of land.
Top 10 Landowners in Wisconsin
Starting from the bottom,
10. The UPM Blandin Paper Company
The company owns about 125,000 acres that are used for timber harvesting and paper production.
9. The DNR Forest Management
The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources owns approximately 130,000 acres.
8. The Wisconsin River Power Company
The WI River Power Company uses its 135,000 acres to do just what its name suggests, to generate hydroelectric power.
7. The Wisconsin Electric Power Company
The WEPC uses 155,000 acres to also generate electricity.
6. The Lyme Timber Company
This company owns approximately 175,000 acres used for timber harvesting
5. The Menards Family
The name you recognize owns around 200,000 acres of Wisconsin land. While they're mostly known for the Menards home improvement stores, they also invest in real estate, agriculture, and other industries.
4. The John Hancock Life Insurance Company
The company owns around 220,000 acres of land and is heavily invested in forestry and timber, the company also uses this land for hunting and entertainment.
3. The Plum Creek Timber Company
Another timber company using its 230,000 acres for harvesting
2. The United States Government
The federal government is the second-largest landowner in Wisconsin with 1.2 million acres. The land includes national forests, wildlife refuges, and military bases.
The number one landowner in Wisconsin is,
1. The State of Wisconsin
The state of Wisconsin is the largest landowner in the state, owning around 5.7 million acres of land. The land is used for conservation and recreation, including state parks and wildlife.
[H/T Farmland RIches]