Utah is home to some of the largest ranches and land holdings in the United States.
With its wide open spaces and beautiful scenery, it’s no wonder that people want to own a piece of the Beehive State.
But who exactly are the biggest landowners in Utah? Here’s a look at some of the top landowners and families in the state.
Far and away the largest landowner in Utah is the federal government.
According to statistics from the Bureau of Land Management, the federal government owns and manages approximately 23 million acres, or about 36%, of the land in Utah.
Most of this land is public and includes national parks, forests, monuments, and recreation areas managed by different federal agencies like the National Park Service, U.S. Forest Service, and Bureau of Land Management.
Some of the most iconic federal land holdings include Bryce Canyon National Park, Zion National Park, Arches National Park, and Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument.
The federal government uses this land for conservation, recreation, mineral and energy development, grazing, and other public benefits.
The Robinson and Freed Families
One of the largest private land holdings in Utah belongs to the Robinson and Freed families. Together, they own a total of about 300,000 acres of land across the state.
Most of their land is used for livestock grazing and is spread across several counties in southern and eastern Utah.
Some of their acreage includes wolf Creek Ranch, which covers around 100,000 acres near the town of Ticaboo.
Other ranches owned by the families include the Fiddler Bench Ranch, Upper Valley Ranch, and Homestead Ranch.
The Robinson and Freed families have owned and managed ranch land in Utah for over a century.
Today, much of the land is operated by Freed Ranching Company.
The Holding Family
The Holding family is another of Utah’s major landowners, although specifics on their total acreage are hard to come by.
Alvin and LaRue Holding purchased their first Utah ranch property back in 1951. Over the decades, they steadily acquired more land across the state.
Today, the Holding family owns acreage in Rich, Box Elder, Millard and Beaver Counties. Their land holdings include the historic Leatham Ranch in eastern Utah’s Uintah Basin.
While the exact acreage is unknown, the Holdings are reported to own a significant amount of ranch land across Utah.
Much of their land is used for cattle ranching operations.
Changing Land Ownership
These families and entities have owned large swaths of Utah lands for decades. However, land ownership can change over time.
As families grow or shrink, properties may get split up or sold off. The federal government also occasionally sells some of its land into private ownership.
And new owners can always purchase lands from existing ranch families or other private owners.
So while this provides a snapshot of the current largest land owners in Utah, it’s possible this list may change and evolve in the coming years.
Urban development and population growth in Utah also puts pressure on large agricultural land holdings.
Utah’s Wide Open Spaces
From red rock canyons to high mountain forests, Utah is known for its incredible scenic landscapes. There are many individuals and families who own sizeable portions of the state’s land area.
But the wide open spaces also mean there is plenty of public land for all to enjoy. The variety of land ownership provides for conservation, recreation, agriculture, development and other important uses.
Those looking to purchase a piece of property in Utah have no shortage of options available across this spacious western state.
Before You Go
You know about Utah’s scenic national parks and ski resorts. But did you know that agriculture is a huge part of the state’s economy?
Utah has an amazing range of microclimates, allowing farmers to grow tons of different crops you wouldn’t expect. From fruit orchards to grain fields, Utah’s fertile valleys yield bountiful harvests.
👉 Click here to uncover the top 8 unexpected crops that are bringing big bucks to Utah farms. You’ll be amazed at the diversity!