Wilson billionaire pledges $1B to help save the planet

JACKSON HOLE, WYO – A Wilson man has thrown down the gauntlet, big time, for like-minded persons of financial means who feel strongly about our planet.

Hansjörg Wyss declared in an opinion piece for the New York Times on October 31 that he will donate one billion dollars over the next decade to help accelerate land and ocean conservation around the world. The self-made billionaire who now makes his home in Wilson, Wyoming has put up his money before, joining the effort to buy out drilling leases in the Hoback Basin in 2013.

“Every one of us—citizens, philanthropists, business and government leaders—should be troubled by the enormous gap between how little of our natural world is currently protected and how much should be protected. It is a gap that we must urgently narrow, before our human footprint consumes the earth’s remaining wild places,” Wyss wrote. “For the sake of all living things, let’s see to it that far more of our planet is protected by the people, for the people and for all time.”

Wyss is a philanthropist and conservationist who was born in Switzerland. An early job with the highway department in Colorado gave him a lifelong appreciation for the American West in particular. He graduated from Harvard Business School in 1965 and later started a successful medical research and design company Synthes.

The Wyss Foundation has been active in other planet-saving endeavors as well—in the Andes Amazon, Carpathia, Argentina, and various African game parks.

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