Washington’s Largest Landowner Controls a Ridiculous 900,000 Acres

Although Washington is the 18th largest state by total area (including water), it only ranks as the 20th largest by land area. Washington is made up of 66,455.52 square miles of diverse landscape, from the Cascade Mountains to the Hoh Rainforest. While some of the earliest American settlements of the state were established around Puget Sound in the early 1800s, today, most of the land is privately or federally owned. But, Washington’s largest private landowner owns 900,000 acres of it.

Old volcanic terrain rises above an alpline meadow at Goat Rocks Wilderness Area in Washington State.
Washington became a state in 1889, making it the 42nd state to join the Union. The state is named in honor of President George Washington.©J-B-C/Shutterstock.com

Overall, the total land area of the United States is 2.27 billion acres, of which the federal government owns about 640 million acres. That’s about 28 percent of the total land, making the federal government the largest landowner in many states.

And, as far as federal land ownership goes, Washington State ranks as the 12th in the nation. Out of the 42,693,760 acres in Washington, the federal government owns 12,173,814 acres of it. So, about 28.5 percent of Washington’s total land is under the management of the federal government. With the establishment of national parks, forests, grasslands, and other areas of federal protection, 238.4 million acres make up USDA Forest Service lands across the country.

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