Who is Montana’s biggest landlord? Hint, they’re not local.
One of the hot topics here in Montana is the fact that so many non-Montanans are coming in and buying up acres and acres of land. This, of course, is not very popular with the thousands of locals who continue to see the landscape changing, and according to them, not for the better.
As the migration to Montana continues, we see more apartment buildings, more homes, more businesses, and more people. This can be seen as a double-edged sword: the influx of people can certainly be considered “good for business” here in Montana, but there are also headaches that come with rapid growth.
So what part of Montana is owned by non-Montananese? Well, that’s a hard answer to come by, but we can tell you who the biggest landowner in the state is, and they’re not local.
The largest landowner in the state of Montana is the federal government.
So what part of Montana do the feds own? According to Ballotpedia, just under 30% (29%) of Montana is government owned. While that certainly sounds like a big chunk, Montana doesn’t even make the Top 10 states with the most federally owned land. States like Alaska, California, Idaho, Wyoming, Oregon, and Nevada have much higher percentages of government-owned land.
I guess there are two different ways to look at this. If you’re one of those anti-government folks, you might not be a big fan of the fact that so much of Montana is government owned. However, if you’re anti-people moving here, you must like that almost a third of the state isn’t for sale.
Of course, much of this government-owned land includes Yellowstone and Glacier National Park, which in turn brings millions of people and billions of dollars to Montana each year. Again…a double-edged sword.
WATCH: Stunning vintage photos capture the beauty of America’s national parks
Today, these parks are spread across the country in 25 states and the US Virgin Islands. The land around them was purchased or donated, although much of it was inhabited by natives for thousands of years before the founding of the United States. These areas are protected and revered as educational resources about the natural world and as spaces for exploration.
Keep scrolling through 50 vintage photos that show the beauty of America’s national parks.