Table of Contents:
- Brad Kelley, the farm boy with 1 million acres
- Incredibly deep pockets
- Brad Kelley is fourth on the list of private U.S. landholders. Most Americans have never heard of Kelley and that’s the way he wants it.
Malone grabbed the No. 1 spot from Turner in 2011 after buying 1 million acres of timberland in Maine and New Hampshire. He plans to leave the vast majority of his land in conservation easements. Despite being a friend and business partner of the ecologically driven Turner, Malone has a more practical vantage point. “I’m not an extreme tree-hugger. I do believe trees grow and are a useful agricultural product that can be harvested without damaging the ecology and wildlife. In fact, done well, it can enhance wildlife and recreation. In that sense I’m an agricultural person. I think private ownership is generally superior to public because you care about the land more and it doesn’t get trashed,” the 72-year-old Malone told Forbes in a 2011 interview.
Kelley is only 56 years old, and with incredibly deep pockets, his land holdings will continue growing. However, the reclusive billionaire is not an acreage rival of Malone, Turner and Emmerson — and doesn’t want to be.
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