A private foundation will donate more than 100,000 acres in seven states for national parks, forests and wildlife refuges in one of the biggest land contributions in U.S. history.
The land to be donated by the Richard King Mellon Foundation includes acreage at several Civil War battlefields, coastal wetlands, Appalachian uplands and Rocky Mountain vistas.
Interior Department spokesman Tom Wilson told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette the $21-million worth of land is considered priceless, since the federal government has limited spending on land acquisitions during the last decade to emergency cases.
Wilson said the land gift is to be formally announced at a ceremony Tuesday in Washington, D.C.
Jack Lynn of the Conservation Fund said the delivery of the deeds to the government will mark the first time the Mellon Foundation has given land toward conservation efforts.