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green@work : Magazine : Back Issues : Sept / Oct 2003 : Special Section : Dupont Land Legacy Fund Makes Largest Donation

Special Section

Dupont Land Legacy Fund Makes Largest Donation

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 company’s
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 land’s 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 Carolina’s DuPont State Forest. That donation was also to The Conservation Fund.

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