Since 2008, this game developer has purchased 40,000 acres in North Carolina for conservation purposes.
Tim Sweeney isn’t just the chief of video game company Epic Games, he’s a conservationist who has kept good on his word to protect thousands of acres of wilderness. Recently, the ZZT developer paid $15 million to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to permanently protect 7,000 acres of undeveloped land in western North Carolina, his home state.
Reportedly, the land is located in the area known as the Box Creek Wilderness which, several years ago, came under threat of being subdivided. Rutherford Electric Membership Corporation sought to purchase the land to construct power lines, but Sweeney fought back in court. The purchase of the 7,000 acres has been listed as a “conservation easement”, which means that the owner (Sweeney) has forfeited the right to develop, subdivide or otherwise interfere with the preservation of natural landscape.
He told The Citizen Times:
“It’s still in private ownership but the easement ensures it can never be developed. 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.”
The activist also mentioned that the settlement was a uge win for protecting biodiversity and wildlife.
“The cards are stacked against the private landowner in eminent domain litigation in many ways, so reaching a settlement required a lot of hard work and resourcefulness from many team members,” Fisher said. “Fortunately, we had a very determined landowner, and our team was able to demonstrate to important stakeholders that conservation and energy infrastructure can coexist responsibly.”
This isn’t the first large purchase Sweeney has made on behalf of the environment, either. Though he’s best known for his role in the game industry, he’s somewhat of a hero in North Carolina. He began buying up land for conservation purposes in 2008 and now owns approximately 40,000 acres in the state.
This game programmer is inspiring because he’s used a portion of his money to give back to the Earth and others. What are your thoughts? Please comment below and share this news!
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