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U. S. Steel Makes Historic Environmental Donation in Alabama


United States Steel Corporation and the Black Warrior-Cahaba Rivers Land Trust (The Land Trust) in Birmingham, Ala., have reached a historic agreement that will benefit the people of Jefferson County, Ala., for generations.

The Land Trust is purchasing 753 acres of land from U. S. Steel, which has an appraised value of more than $6.7 million, for $4 million. In addition, U. S. Steel is donating $1 million to The Land Trust.

The donation will be placed with The Community Foundation of Greater Birmingham in a fund that will be used to provide canoe launches, walking trails and other public use facilities for the people of Jefferson County. The land is being acquired as part of the Jefferson County Greenways program, and The Land Trust will hold a conservation easement on these properties in perpetuity.

This transaction involves a total of 20.5 miles of waterway: 11.6 miles of the Cahaba River, 5.3 miles of Village Creek, and 3.6 miles of Shades Creek.

This is the single largest land transaction and the single largest monetary gift in the history of The Land Trust.

"In the past, The Land Trust has worked with small private landowners who have given property that's been in their families for generations in order to preserve it," said Wendy Allen Jackson, executive director of The Land Trust. "Today, we are the recipient of an extraordinary gift from U. S. Steel, the largest private landowner in Jefferson County, that will preserve 20.5 miles of rivers and streams. This gift and these lands are an incredible legacy to both present and future generations of Jefferson County; a legacy made possible by a remarkable company."

This is the largest monetary donation and largest land transaction of this nature that U. S. Steel has ever made in the State of Alabama, and the second largest in the company's history.

"As one of the largest landowners and employers in Jefferson County, U. S. Steel believes it is important that it contributes to improve the quality of life in the county," said Tom Howard, general manager for the Southeast for USS Real Estate. "The protection of the county's rivers and streams is a major part of that. This is a great way to protect the Cahaba River and Village and Shades creeks. In addition, we believe this benefits the entire community from an economic standpoint. Recreational spaces, such as hiking and biking trails, are one of the top priorities for people and companies when they consider a new community."

The Cahaba River is one of Alabama's -- and America's -- most precious natural resources. It is the state's longest free-flowing river and one of our nation's most biologically rich. The Cahaba River Basin supports 69 rare and imperiled species, including 12 fish and mussel species that are listed under the U.S. Endangered Species Act. It has 131 fish species, more than any river of its size in North America.

The Land Trust now protects more than 60 miles of waterway and more than 3,300 acres of land in Jefferson County.

The mission of The Land Trust is the acquisition and stewardship of lands that enhance water quality and preserve open space. The Land Trust is charged with implementing the Jefferson County Greenways Program, a $30 million project to improve water quality in Jefferson County.

SOURCE: Black Warrior-Cahaba Rivers Land Trust

CONTACT: Tom Howard of U. S. Steel, +1-205-783-4700; or Wendy Allen
Jackson of The Land Trust, +1-205-214-8613

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