Serious environmentalists and conservationists are expressing concern about the large donation the Bahamas National trust received last week from the Moore Bahamas Foundation, owned by Louis Bacon. The timing of such a major donation is being questioned and environmentalists are concerned that the environment is now becoming a pawn in a game rather than a subject of serious importance when it comes to sustainability and preservation.
Louis Bacon chose to donate to the Bahamas National Trust’s “Conchservation” programme, giving a $50,000 cheque – the first in a series of three to be given over the next three years. Moore Bahamas Foundation also held a reception for members of the Trust when the donation was made last week.
Although Bacon is known for having made large donations to the environment in North America, he had no track record of doing this in the Bahamas. Yet when he received the prestigious Audobon Society medal last week, he reportedly declared himself as having been the one to “lead” Bahamians in the fight to save their slave ancestral grounds – Clifton Cay.
Such a claim enraged the activists who actually fought the tough battle against developers 14 years ago, which resulted in the now operational Clifton Heritage National Park. Activists such as attorney Keod Smith; Vivian Whylly, who is descended from the slaves who lived on the Whylly Plantation; and popular American talk show host Beverley Smith are among those who publicly lambasted Bacon for taking credit for their hard-won fight.
Shortly after receiving the award, Bacon’s older brother Zack, along with their attorney Pericles Maillis, made the donation that allowed BNT to hire Jared Dillet to work as the Marine Resources Campaign Coordinator. It led Clifton activists to wonder if Bacon is trying to allay the heat he now faces for having lied to the Audobon Society by making a donation to make it appear as if he has the Bahamas environment at heart.
These suspicions are well founded, according to Whylly, who made a shocking revelation publicly. He revealed that Louis Bacon was willing to open up a $3 million trust fund in his name to manage tours at Clifton Cay. He said after he refused to defame Peter Nygard, that trust fund received just $100. Whylly also revealed that Bacon said he didn’t want to be directly involved in the Clifton Cay tours because people didn’t take to kindly to the issue of slavery. This seems to correlate with Bacon’s reference to the book “Gone With the Wind” as “The Holy Book” as he spoke to the Audobon Society and accepted his award. The book has been touted as one of the most racial books ever published.