IKEA owner purchases nearly 11,000 acres of land in Georgia for conservation

Updated: Feb. 8, 2021 at 4:27 PM EST
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ALTAMHA RIVER BASIN, Ga. (WTOC) - One of our vital rivers is getting some TLC from big box store IKEA.

The Ingka Group, better known for its stores like IKEA, bought nearly 11,000 acres of land near the Altamaha River.

It’s home to long-leaf pine, gopher tortoises and even sturgeon swim in the water.

IKEA now bears the responsibility of preserving this land, and even if they sell it, the next owner must also do the same. The Conservation Fund is pleased with the private partnership and excited about something else in the deal.

“It will be open to the public as a wildlife management. That’s somewhat unusual to be in private ownership, but the public will be able to utilize the property. So kudos to the state for making that happen, but kudos to IKEA for being willing to own land that the public will be able to access,” said Andrew Schock, the Georgia and Alabama State Director of The Conservation Fund.

“It’s such a higher quality of nature conservation than stripping the land and replanting it. It’s just completely different,” said Rena Ann Peck, Executive Director of Georgia River Network.

According to the National Wildlife Federation, longleaf pines once covered an estimated 90 million acres. Today they cover less than three percent of that.

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