US forest and agriculture land owned by foreign entities present host of policy issues


Gauging how a lot agricultural and forested lands Inside the U.S. are owned by overseas entities Might be troublesome to calculate, However the U.S. Division of Agriculture believes these lands are roughly The measurement of Iowa.

Almost half of the nation’s forested lands are overseas owned, Which might have broad implications in a quantity of exactms from coverage to carbon markets, said Arkansas native Harrison Pittman, director of the Nationwide Agricultural Regulation Center.

Harrison supplyed an replace on The matter as An factor of The middle’s ongoing webinar collection on agricultural, environmental and meals legal guidelines.

Fourteen states have legal guidelines that restrict or bar overseas possession of agricultural land.

“Based mostly on The latest USDA knowledge, 49% of overseas-owned U.S. land is forested,” Pittman said. “This completely has implications Inside the carbon market space. When The Most very important proportion of overseas owned land is Inside the forestry sector, that’s An unrestricted An factor of the carbon sequestration mannequin and related to federal legal guidelines, federal packages, and all method of issues.”

Foreign possession of U.S. lands has been A drawback courting again to earlier than the origins of America. English widespread law significantly restricted The power of “aliens” To maintain or buy exact property. The Declaration of Independence addressed these considerations and influenced states’ legal guidelines addressing overseas possession of land. This concern finally focused on agricultural lands, and right now, a patchwork of state legal guidelines is in place all by way of the U.S. That are typically pretty completely different from one state to The completely different.

As of 2021, overseas people or entities reported maintaining an curiosity in about 35.2 million acres of U.S. farmland, accounting For two.7% of all privately held agricultural land and 1.5% of all land Inside the U.S. Foreign-owned land Inside the U.S. Greater than doubled from 2004 to 2019 and the USDA reviews that between 2018 and 2019, A minimal of 40% of overseas possession will enhance have occurred in Texas, Oklahoma, and Colorado, in accordance to the USDA.

Tright here are 4.4 million acres in Texas Which are overseas owned, adopted by Maine (3.3 million acres), and Alabama (1.8 million), the USDA reported. Entities or people from Canada, the Netherlands, Italy, Germany, and The united kingdom are The very biggest overseas based land house owners Inside the U.S.

Pittman said addressing overseas possession of agricultural land requires dialogue as a Outcome of The drawback pulls every political curiosity in and round agriculture and pretty A pair of spaces of law.

Previous Nationwide Agricultural Regulation Center month-to-month webinar issues have included carbon markets, meat processing legal guidelines, water air pollution, the influence of elections on agriculture, And a quantity of completely different completely different issues.

“I extremely encourage anyone with an curiosity in agricultural, meals, and environmental law to register and attend webinars hosted by our center,” Pittman said. “Regardless of your occupation, these packages supply large information You can notion to be impartial, evaluation-based, and non-partisan.”

Watch Pittman’s webinar on overseas possession of land, click on right here.