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Video game developer protects 7000 acres in North Carolina

Tim Sweeney.   Epic Tim Sweeney. Epic
Carmela Zoppi | 10 Novembre, 2016, 19:03

Sweeney is the founder of video game company Epic Games.

Tim Sweeney founded Epic in the early 1990s and has done quite well for himself.

A video game developer is preserving a 7,000-acre tract of land in western North Carolina from development.

The region Sweeney has invested in is known as the Box Creek Wilderness; several years ago it came under threat of being subdivided to make room for the Rutherford Electric Membership Corporation to construct power lines, but Sweeney (who previously owned a smaller swath of the land) fought back in court.

"It's not open to anyone in the public at any time", Sweeney told the Citizen Times, "but people can email and get a permission card and go and enjoy it".

At just 43, Tim Sweeney is one of the largest private landowners in the state of North Carolina, with a portfolio that includes 36,650 acres, most of it in the mountains. However, in these hard times, it's undeniably uplifting to see someone apply their wealth to something that is indisputably for the best.

Sweeney has been purchasing land for conservation purposes since 2008, and now owns around 40,000 acres.

The tract harbors more than 130 rare and vulnerable plant and wildlife species, including three moths and a spiderwort species that are new to science.

"This is a first step - there will be other places protected", said Jeff Fisher, a partner on the project and part of a local conservation firm. "The goal is to connect South Mountains State Park to Chimney Rock".

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