Revenge of the Nerds
A coalition of enviros and high-tech philanthropists in Washington state is launching a three-year campaign to raise at least $25 million in private donations and leverage at least $100 million in federal funds so the government can buy 75,000 acres of privately owned land in the state’s Cascade Mountains to create a wilderness corridor. Organizers include some of the same people who successfully raised $16.5 million in private funds last year to protect 25,000 acres of the Loomis Forest in north Washington. Another project that hopes to tap into the new wealth in the Seattle area is the new Puget Sound Salmon Foundation, which aims to raise $10 million to $15 million annually to help threatened chinook salmon. Private donors are also playing a key role in California, where they have contributed $15 million to complete a purchase of 180,605 acres of the Mojave Desert in southern California.