Epic Games founder Tim Sweeney has donated a huge sum to the US Fish and Wildlife Service to permanently protect 7,000 acres of wildland.
The $15m sum will mean that the Box Creek Wilderness Natural Heritage Area in North Carolina will never be sold to property developers or to energy companies, the latter of which were sniffing around for the possible construction of power lines.
The move isn't a first for Sweeny, either, who has to date protected over 40,000 of natural habitat in the state.
It's still in private ownership but the easement ensures it can never be developed," Sweeney told Citizen Times. "It's not open to anyone in the public at any time, but people can email and get a permission card and go and enjoy it.
When real estate collapsed, it was an opportunity to buy the best and most biodiverse natural areas. Box Creek had approximately 5,000 acres owned by developers. The next time there's a real estate boom, we won't be able to protect these lands.
I'm grateful … for the whole Fish and Wildlife Service team's tireless efforts to preserve vital North Carolina natural areas in partnership with conservation-minded landowners like me.”