Forests are the lungs of our planet keeping the ecosystems in life making them extremely valuable for our only home, the Earth. However, people still cannot learn their lesson and the deforestation is still rapid in many parts of the world. Fortunately, there are self-conscientious people that are doing their best to save the forests. One of them is the Fortnite creator, Tim Sweeney, who is actually purchasing whole forests to save them from destruction.
Fortnite is one of the biggest games of this decade played by millions of people. It is based on various interactive and intricate realms that keep the attention of many players in the digital world and thus making tons of money.
Tim Sweeney is the owner of Epic Games, a video and 3-D software company that he founded in the nineties by producing various popular games such as Fortnite, Gears of War, and Unreal Tournament. Thanks to his work very soon he became a billionaire, but his fortune did not spoil him, in fact he became a huge philanthropist and tried to protect the beautiful western Carolina Mountains.
In the last decade, he bought several forests thus preventing to be used for other commercial purposes that would have completely destroyed them. In this process he spent millions of dollars to support various conservation projects in North Carolina. Sweeney purchased 40,000 acres of land, and then he donated funds to different conservation parcel projects such as the expansion of 1,500 acres to Mount Mitchell State Park. He made another donation in November 2016 of $15 million for a conservation project so that to protect 7,000 acres of forest in the Box Creek Wilderness, located in the historic foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains. This forest was threatened to get destroyed by a big corporation that wanted to carve up the land in order to run power lines to other places. Thanks to this donation he saved hundreds of endangered animal and plant species from extinction.
The biologist Kevin Caldwell emphasizes the importance of this conservation, stating the following, quote:
“Ecologists documented more than 130 rare and watch-list plant and wildlife species, and several new-to‐science wildlife and plant species, including three moths and a new spiderwort species.”
Tim Sweeney added the following on this issue:
“It’s one of the most diverse areas in North Carolina. It has such rare plant and wildlife species; it seemed a perfect fit with the Fish and Wildlife Service. This is a first step – there will be other places protected. The goal is to connect South Mountains State Park to Chimney Rock. This is one piece of the puzzle.”
Tim Sweeney’s purchases did not stop, the next year he bought 193 acres in Alamance County and spent $1.973 million for it. Jose Kellher, the representative of Sweeney, secured the land and guaranteed that it will be persevered from any development. The next forest that Sweeney purchased was 1,500 acre of Stone Hills, and prevented the building of a golf resort community that would have destroyed the forest.
Here it is what Sweeney stated about the purchase of this land:
“I bought this land because it has a nice longleaf pine forest and was available for a reasonable price. I’ll be holding it until I find a permanent nature conservation home for it, which will take years or decades.”
In regards towards the use of the land he stated the following:
“I just plan to hike it and do some tree thinning and burning for ecosystem restoration until I find a permanent conservancy or state home for it.”
Regarding the purchases of Sweeney the Mind Unleashed wrote the following, quote:
“Sweeney’s conservation efforts come at a time when protecting our nation’s forests has become increasingly important. A study led by North Carolina State University professor Nick Haddad and conducted by 24 scientists, found that there are only 2 truly intact forests left on Earth.
When the study’s authors examined the effects of human involvement on forests, they found habitat fragmentation leads to 13 to 75 percent decrease in plant and animal diversity, reduces the ability of animals and plants to survive and can even distort the food chain, as smaller patches of forest tend to have an increase in predator population.
Thankfully, as science continues to learn more about the importance of undeveloped forest land, billionaire philanthropists are noticing and taking action. China’s wealthiest man has also taken note of the importance of conservation. In 2015, Jack Ma, the billionaire behind online retail giant Alibaba, purchased 28,000 acres of land in the Adirondack Mountains of upstate NY. His first action taken after purchasing the land was to halt logging operations.”
We just hope that this benevolence of Tim Sweeney will be followed by other billionaires in the world like in the case of Jack Ma and that the conservation of the land and forests will continue. After all, we have only one planet that is our home and very beautiful one, and every person should do its best to keep it.