- Associated Press - Tuesday, November 8, 2016

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) - A video game developer is preserving a 7,000-acre tract of land in western North Carolina from development.

The Charlotte Observer reported (https://bit.ly/2fkuxFH) the Tim Sweeney of Cary has reached a conservation agreement with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

The Box Creek Wilderness is in the foothills south of Marion.

Sweeney is founder of video game company Epic Games.

The tract is home to more than 130 rare and vulnerable plant and wildlife species.

The North Carolina National Heritage Program says the ecological value of the land is among the highest in the state.

The Box Creek tract connects protected land in the South Mountains and Pisgah National Forest.

Community hikes, nature tours and running events on the land in recent years have helped raise public awareness of it.

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Information from: The Charlotte Observer, https://www.charlotteobserver.com


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