Who’s Montana’s Biggest Property Owner? 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 thousands of locals who continue to see the landscape change, and according to them, not for the better.
As the migration to Montana continues, we are seeing more apartment buildings, more homes, more businesses, and more people. It can be considered 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 just how much of Montana is owned by non-Montanans? Well, that's a tough answer to find, but we can tell you who the biggest land-owner in the state is, and they're not local.
The largest land owner in the state of Montana is the federal government.
So, just how much of Montana do the Feds own? According to Ballotpedia, just under 30 percent (29%) of Montana is owned by the government. While that certainly seems like a huge chunk, Montana doesn't even make the Top 10 states with the most federal government-owned land. States like Alaska, California, Idaho, Wyoming, Oregon, and Nevada have much higher percentages of government-owned land.
I suppose there are two different ways to look at this. If you are one of those anti-government folks, you might not be a huge fan of the fact that such a large portion of Montana is owned by the government. However, if you're anti-people moving here, you have to love the fact that almost one-third of the state isn't for sale.
Of course, much of that government-owned land includes Yellowstone and Glacier National Park, which in turn brings millions of people and billions of dollars to Montana each year. Once again...a double-edged sword.