April 18, 2014

Land Preservation

Conservationists' Coup

Charlotte Crane | 6/1/2006
Forest products giant International Paper Co. has shifted its focus from forest management to paper and packaging production. This spring, as part of the move, the company began selling off the bulk of its massive forestland holdings; in four deals, the Connecticut-based company sold nearly 5.7 million acres nationwide.

Much of the land was purchased by other companies, including 140,000 acres in Florida bought by an investor group led by Resource Management Service. But environmental agencies and international nature conservationists also capitalized on the opportunity. International Paper's first deal was with two conservation groups, The Nature Conservancy and the Conservation Fund, which paid $300 million for 218,000 acres across 10 Southern states. That sale included 28,579 acres in northwest Florida -- some 22,000 acres in Santa Rosa County, with the rest in Escambia and Okaloosa counties.

The state's land acquisition program, Florida Forever, had "A''-listed much of the acreage for years for purchase; the conservation groups will now hold the land until the state budgets money to buy it.

The land encompasses 30 miles of rivers and streams, rare steephead ravines and historic longleaf pine habitat that is rapidly disappearing worldwide.

International Paper, meanwhile, will still own about 40,000 acres in Florida, with all but about 500 acres in Escambia and Santa Rosa counties.

Tags: Environment, Northwest

Digital Access

DIRECT DIGITAL ACCESS
Add digital to your current subscription, purchase a single ditgital issue, or start a new subscription to Florida Trend.

TABLE OF CONTENTS
An overview of the features and articles in this month's issue of Florida Trend.

ACCESS THIS ISSUE »

Florida Business News

Florida Trend Video Pick

Okeanos Explorer 2014
Okeanos Explorer 2014

NOAA's ship, Okeanos Explorer, carrying scientists and the ROV Deep Discoverer (D2), has arrived at site “Northwest Gulf Mid-Depth." Today (4/17/2014), the ROV will visit two Monterrey shipwrecks. Deployment of the ROV is planned for 0930 Eastern, arriving at the seafloor around 1030. Click above to watch the adventure unfold or go here for more info.

Earlier Videos | Viewpoints@FloridaTrend

Ballot Box

Amazon will begin charging Florida residents sales tax on May 1, 2014. How will this affect your online shopping at Amazon?

  • I will buy less from Amazon
  • This won't change my Amazon shopping
  • I don't shop at Amazon

See Results

Ballot Box
Subscribe