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For Some Rich Americans, Accumulating Land Is Like Collecting Art and Autos

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'It's the Only Thing That Lasts'

Must be a subscriber to the WSJ to read the full article.

Notes --

1. The rich are purchasing open spaces in remote areas for fishing, hunting, conservation, ranching, etc.

2. Land prices in the architectural sector has risen 15% in 2006 alone (from 2005) -- to $1,900 an acre.

3. An aging population and an economy that is sinking in many midwestern places has left them unable to sustain ranches or farms.

4. A study that was published in the journal Society and Natural Resources (1990-1991) reported that only 1/4 who purchased 400+ acres in 10 Montana and Wyoming counties were 'traditional ranchers'.

3. In 2001, Kentucky native Brad Kelly sold Commonwealth Brands Inc. for $1 billion. He purchased thousands of acres of West Texas ranchland, 60,000 acres near Sarasota -- and is now the 7th largest land owner today. He raises animals such as antelope and anoa on his ranches.

4. Jeff Bezos (#23), founder of Amazon.com, purchased 300,000 acres in West Texas to test a developmental vehicle for space-flight company Blue Origin.

5. Roxanne Quimby, co-founder of Burt's Bees, has purchased 80,000 in Maine's northwoods for conservation. She wants 100,000 acres to create a national park -- a long decade-old dream of Maine conservationists.

5a. Some opposition has been vocal against Roxanne's conservation efforts. She purchased the lands from timber companies, and made the lands off-limits to logging, hunting and motorized vehicles.

Article information: "For Some Rich Americans, Accumulating Land Is Like Collecting Art and Autos, By THADDEUS HERRICK, April 25, 2007; Page B1"

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