Lumber magnate Howard Gilman used his vast wealth to do something really wonderful. He preserved a 7400-acre pine forest on the border of Georgia and Florida. He then created a sanctuary for endangered species including cheetahs, rhinoceroses, and the rare African giant eland, of which there are only 200 left in the wild.
Now Gilman's lumber business has hit hard times, and White Oak Plantation is up for sale. That means it could be purchased for a tract housing development and its precious pine forest lost to future generations. This is an unprecedented opportunity for the government of Georgia to step in and purchase this estate for green space. Though White Oak was never before run as a business, it could easily be converted to a wildlife study center--similar to Savannah's Oatland Island Wildlife Center. This would provide a unique opportunity for school children and wildlife enthusiasts to learn about endangered species while viewing White Oak's unique collection. Tell Georgia Governor Nathan Deal to save White Oak as a wildlife sanctuary and green space by purchasing it for the state with green space funds.
We the undersigned believe the many ecological and historic assets of the White Oak plantation should now be put into the public trust. This amazing estate not only represents an important conservation of green space, it is also a unique collection of rare and endangered wildlife. It was the place where Bill and Hillary Clinton strategized her campaign for senate. It was the refuge of ballet great Mikhail Baryshnikov when he decided to defect from the Soviet Union. White Oak has also been instrumental in the work of the celebrated Sundance Institute. Please purchase this unique landmark and make it available to the public as a museum and zoo.