WASHINGTON, D.C. (May 3, 2000 – Hawaii Public Radio)---The Nature Conservancy plans to buy Palmyra Atoll to guarantee the preservation of its pristine marine wilderness.

The conservation group is expected to announce tomorrow that it is buying the uninhabited atoll near the equator 1,000 miles south of Hawai‘i from the Fullard-Leo family.

The price for the 680 acres and adjacent coral reefs and lagoons was not disclosed, but is said to be in the range of US$ 30 million.

Although privately owned, the atoll is considered a territory of the United States and under the civil jurisdiction of the Department of the Interior.

The Nature Conservancy hopes that two-thirds of the atoll eventually will be administered by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service as a wildlife refuge.

The Nature Conservancy has been negotiating for the purchase of the atoll for four years. 

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