DuPont has donated
approximately 16,000 acres of land, immediately adjacent to the Okefenokee
National Wildlife Refuge in southeast Georgia, to The Conservation Fund.
The donation is the largest in the history of the DuPont Land Legacy program.
DuPont acquired the land in 1991 and 1996 with the intent to mine titanium
ore safely and in an environmentally sound manner from the site. In light
of public concerns about the project, DuPont announced in 1997 that it
would defer activities related to the proposed surface
mining operation and explore options for the property. DuPont established
a Collaborative Process Core Group of local community officials, local
NGOs, landowners, mining, tourism and wood fiber interests, elected officials
and Native Americans. In 1999 the Collaborative Process Core Group recommended
a no mining option for the land. The donation represents a
culmination of that process and a cooperative effort among DuPont, The
Conservation Fund and International Paper.
We believe that our donation of DuPont land in and near Okefenokee
National Wildlife Refuge is a concrete example of walking the talk
with regard to our companys
commitment to sustainable growth and social responsibility, said
DuPont chairman and CEO Charles O. Holliday, Jr. The refuge is an
ecological treasure. Through the good work of our partner, The Conservation
Fund, we are confident that the land we are donating will be properly
and permanently protected. We are also grateful to all the stakeholders
who participated in the collaborative process that helped us reach this
very positive outcome.
International Paper currently has the lands wood fiber and recreational
rights. It is amending its original agreement with DuPont to further protect
the land by permanently relinquishing acquisition rights, which will prevent
mining of the property in the future. International Paper will maintain
a working forest on the property in a manner that ensures biodiversity,
maintains recreational opportunities and helps the local economy.
The donation of 15,985 acres is the largest land donation in the history
of the DuPont Land Legacy Program, which since 1994 hasplaced nearly 18,000
other acres of company land into permanently protected status. The largest
prior donation was in 1997 and totaled 7,700 acres near Brevard, NC, at
the site of what is now North Carolinas DuPont State Forest. That
donation was also to The Conservation Fund.
A New Leaf for the Paper Industry