DuPont acquired the land several years ago and planned to mine titanium ore from the site, but announced in 1997 that it would defer those plans due to public concerns about the project.
Charles Holliday Jr., DuPont's chairman and CEO, says the donation represents "a concrete example of ‘walking the talk' with regard to our company's commitment to sustainable growth and social responsibility." He called the refuge an "ecological treasure" and said that with the donation to the Conservation Fund, "we are confident that the land we are donating will be properly and permanently protected."
Since 1994, DuPont's Land Legacy Program has placed nearly 18,000 other acres of company land into permanently protected status. The largest prior donation was in 1997 and totaled 7,700 acres near Brevard, NC, at the site of what is now North Carolina's DuPont State Forest. That donation was also to The Conservation Fund.