DuPont acquired the land in 1991 and 1996 with the intent to mine titanium ore in an environmentally sound manner from the site. In light of public concerns about the project, DuPont announced in 1997 that it would defer activities related to the proposed surface mining operation and explore options for the property. DuPont established a collaborative process core group of local community officials; local NGOs; landowners; mining, tourism and wood fiber interests; elected officials and Native Americans. In 1999 the group recommended a "no mining" option for the land.
The donation represents a culmination of that process and a cooperative effort among DuPont, the Conservation Fund and International Paper, which currently has the land's wood fiber and recreational rights.
International Paper is amending its original agreement with DuPont to further protect the land by permanently relinquishing acquisition rights, which will prevent mining of the property in the future. International Paper will maintain a working forest on the property in a manner that ensures biodiversity and maintains recreational opportunities.