As of yesterday, the State of Para became a majority preserve of the biota of Brazil as the federal government placed an area the size of Alabama under its ecological egis. This northeastern state, twice the area of France, has been known as an area where ranchers and timbermen are at loggerheads with green activists. E.g., this impoverished, rural state garnered international attention last year with the slaying of Sister Dorothy Stang, an American who sought to establish a preserve on property that ranchers wanted to clear for pastureland. With Brazilia's declaration, 55.4% of Para is under the control of the feds or indigenous Indians. A spokesperson for Conservation International stated, "Together, the protected areas and indigenous lands of northern Para form one of the greatest biodiversity corridors of tropical forests in the planet." According to the organization, the home of 54.1% of native Amazonian fauna and flora are now under the program's protection.