LUFKIN, Texas, Dec. 23, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- In a landmark deal for forest conservation, T.L.L. Temple Foundation, International Paper and The Conservation Fund announced today the completion of an effort to protect more than 19,000 acres of hardwood forest and wetlands in East Texas, known as Boggy Slough. The T.L.L. Temple Foundation purchased the property in fee from International Paper and agreed to donate a conservation easement over the entire property to The Conservation Fund. Located west of Lufkin, Boggy Slough contains some of the oldest and most ecologically significant hardwood forest habitat in East Texas and spans 18 miles of river frontage along the Neches River. The former Temple-Inland property includes 4,500 acres of riverside forestland that has remained virtually untouched for decades. "With this historic agreement to conserve Boggy Slough, one of the most unique and beautiful places on the Neches River in East Texas, I want to thank The Conservation Fund, the board of trustees of the T.L.L. Temple Foundation and John Faraci, Chairman and CEO of International Paper Company, for their unwavering commitment to the conservation of Boggy Slough," said Buddy Temple, Chairman, T.L.L. Temple Foundation. T.L.L. Temple, founder of Southern Pine Lumber Company, purchased Boggy Slough in the early 1900s. It belonged to the Temple family until the late 1960s. Boggy Slough operated as a wildlife and forest management research and demonstration area under Temple Industries, Temple-Eastex and Temple-Inland, Inc. International Paper Company built on that tradition when it acquired Boggy Slough in 2012. The sale of Boggy Slough to the T.L.L. Temple Foundation, and the Foundation's commitment to donate a conservation easement across the property to The Conservation Fund, ensures that the land will be protected and managed sustainably as a working forest in perpetuity.