Woodland conservation is on everyone’s lips at the moment. Trees are the most important thing on Earth for removing carbon dioxide, and forests are home to thousands of animals. With more species going extinct every day, conserving our green areas is more important than ever. However, when one area in North Carolina was due to be destroyed, an unexpected savior stepped in. Game developer Tim Sweeney, the mastermind of popular battle royale game Fortnite, bought the land with positive goals in mind.
In 2008, a 1,500-acre swathe of forest in North Carolina went up for sale. The undisturbed forest was sold to property developers, who intended to tear it all down and build on it. Their plans included 1050 homes and a huge 90,000 square feet shopping center.
However, the financial crash hit hard and may have saved the forest. In the heart of the recession, Tim Sweeney bought the land with the goal of restoring and conserving it. “I bought this land because it has a nice longleaf pine forest and was available for a reasonable price,” the Fortnite creator said. “I’ll be holding it until I find a permanent nature conservation home for it, which will take years or decades.”
His $15 million purchase saved the woodland, and he currently owns 40,000 acres of forest, all protected. So, if your kid is playing Fortnite, maybe they are funding important conservation research. Maybe they just want to shoot their mates, but you never know.
“When real estate collapsed, it was an opportunity to buy the best and most biodiverse natural areas,” Tim said in an interview. Box Creek was another of his purchases, in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains. “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.”
And his plans for the future include more conservation. “The idea is to put my money to work for conservation.”
It’s a relief to see billionaires finally using their money for good! What do you think of his impressive purchases? Let us know in the comments, and share with your family and friends. You can check out similar stories on Happiest, like this one about an incredible act of bravery.
Images courtesy of Epic Games, Pixabay, and GDC/Flickr.