Ikea Buys Over 10,000 Acres of Land in Georgia to Protect Endangered Species From Future Deforestation

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Ikea Buys Over 10,000 Acres of Land in Georgia To Protect From Deforestation

Ikea's investment group just purchased over 10,000 acres of forested land in Georgia in an attempt to save the land and all of its ecosystems from future development. The Ingka Group invested in 10,840 acres of forest land near the Altamaha River Basin in the southeast, the furniture giant announced in a statement. Despite most areas being considered protected land, members of the community can still enjoy the outdoor space.

The group purchased the land from a non-profit called The Conservation Fund, which has protected over 8 million acres of land in the U.S.

The land is a site for over 350 plant and wildlife species, which will now be protected from humans disturbance. Among the species most at risk are the longleaf pine forest and gopher tortoise. 

The longleaf pine has needlelike leaves and can grow up to 18 inches long and stand as tall as 100 feet, according to the National Wildlife Foundation. The species used to cover over 90 million acres spanning from southern Virginia to Florida and now just 4 percent of the forest that covered Georgia is left, CTV News reported 

In recent years, restoration of the plant species, which serves as a home for more than 30 endangered species, has become a priority for conservation efforts in recent years, especially in the state of Georgia.

There are an estimated 250 adult gopher tortoises left in the state, according to the Georgia Conservancy.

"We truly believe responsible forest management is possible and we see that a large part of our responsibility towards the land we own -- and by extension the planet -- is to restore forests and plant more than we harvest," Ingka Investments managing director Krister Mattsson told CNN.

Ingka now owns approximately 136,000 acres across Georgia, South Carolina, Alabama, Texas and Oklahoma, according to manager director Krister Mattsson.