Want to go camping, biking, or hiking in Minnesota? Great! Most likely it will be on private property. Same for South Dakota as a good share of the land in both states is untouched by the Federal Government.

About 75% of the land in Minnesota is owned by individuals and businesses, while the rest is owned by units of government. Land owned by the federal government is about 6.8% (3.5 million of 51.2 million acres). Most of the land in Minnesota has at one time or another been owned by the federal government, acquired through treaties between the government and foreign nations, or between the government and Native American tribes.

With 80 percent of South Dakota land privately owned the land owned by the federal government is 5.4% (2.6 million of 48.9 million acres). There are over 5 million acres of hunting on public land and on private land leased for public hunting. The U.S. Forest Service oversees more than 2 million acres open to hunting in the state.

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The wide-open landscape of the Rushmore State is largely made up of cropland and grazing for livestock. Not much different for Minnesota, albeit they have a few more lakes than we do.

Iowa is in the pink with only 0.3% of the land under the Fed's thumb.

Now, in Minnesota what non-government group has the most privately held land? That would be timber giant Molpus Woodlands Group with approximately 286,000 acres.

Business tycoon Ted Turner holds the most land in South Dakota, with the Bad River Ranches spanning over 141,357 acres.


See the Must-Drive Roads in Every State

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