You can't hit a jackpot worth more than the recent conservation victory at the Port Gamble Forest in Washington state.
Last summer, I blogged about the collective effort, led by conservation group Forterra, to protect the forest from development. Through a press release yesterday, Forterra announced the purchase of the final 1,500-acre parcel of forest. All told, the conservation project preserved 4,000 acres.
The risk in attempting to secure the Port Gamble Forest came from the possibility of losing it forever if the funds necessary to purchase it could not be collected. Once developed, the large parcel would lose its incalculable value as an ecosystem. However, the conservation coalition of groups and agencies came together so everyone in the region might benefit from the rewards of preserving that land. It's a major win with an amazing return on investment.
In the end, the Port Gamble acquisition resulted from hard work, generous donations, and a commitment to conservation, not from gambling, but it will certainly produce an environmental windfall for Washington state.