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MeadWestvaco Announces Land Management Strategy
Charleston, South Carolina, USA, 02 May 2007 -- /PRNewswire/ -- MeadWestvaco Corp. today announced a long-term, comprehensive land management strategy that will include a conservation-driven master plan for East Edisto, the company's contiguous acreage along the eastern edge of the Edisto River in Charleston and Dorchester counties in South Carolina.

"We want to be part of the growth solution," said John A. Luke, Jr., MeadWestvaco chairman and chief executive officer. "MeadWestvaco has operated in the Lowcountry for many years, and we care about its future. We believe that our planning process can contribute to the region's need for growth and infrastructure management, balancing economic vitality with the preservation of what's best about the Lowcountry."

MeadWestvaco will provide extensive opportunities for public involvement throughout the planning process, which will begin this summer and be completed around the end of the year. The process will focus on the development of sustainable communities, including road and other infrastructure needs, including housing, employment, recreation, conservation, entertainment, and community services such as schools and healthcare. The intention is also to preserve areas of the land as "public" greenspaces with walking trails, parks, and open spaces.

"With this land under single ownership, we have the opportunity to do something that has never been done before in this area," said Luke. "On a rather large scale, we can engage the community in a plan that is conservation-driven, manages growth wisely, addresses traffic concerns, and prevents sprawl by creating villages and towns that are self-sustainable."

According to Luke, MeadWestvaco is responding in large part to recent industry-wide changes requiring less land for fiber production. "To ensure an adequate supply of quality fiber, companies like MeadWestvaco no longer need to own and manage so much land," said Luke. "And we have a fiduciary responsibility to provide shareholders maximum return wherever possible."

MeadWestvaco currently owns approximately 392,000 acres of land in South Carolina, of which about 320,000 acres will continue to be managed as forestland with strategic sales over time.

Included in the company's land management strategy is the formation of a new business group, MeadWestvaco Land Management, designed to oversee initiatives such as master planning East Edisto. The Land Management group will work with EDAW, internationally recognized as a leader in environmentally responsible planning. Luke added that MeadWestvaco also plans to work closely with the Department of Transportation and other groups to ensure the infrastructure needs to support the master plan are proactive and thoughtfully incorporated.

The first round of public meetings is planned for June. Information on meetings and current status of the planning process will be available at www.EastEdisto.com.

About MeadWestvaco

MeadWestvaco is a global packaging company that delivers high-value packaging solutions and products to the world's most recognized companies in the food and beverage, media and entertainment, personal care, home and garden, cosmetic and healthcare industries. The company also has market-leading positions in its Consumer & Office Products, Specialty Chemicals, and Specialty Papers businesses. MeadWestvaco, with operations in more than 29 countries, has been selected for the Dow Jones Sustainability Indexes, and manages all of its forestlands in accordance with internationally recognized forest certification standards. For more information, visit www.meadwestvaco.com.

Source: MeadWestvaco Corp.

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