Multimillionaire publisher-real estate developer Mortimer Zuckerman announced he has sold his interest in a tract of historic Walden Woods, where plans to build an office park sparked national debate.

The 18.5-acre parcel lies in a forest that inspired 19th century naturalist Henry David Thoreau, who lived and wrote on nearby Walden Pond and is regarded as the founder of the U.S. environmental movement.Conservationists, Thoreau scholars and rock singer Don Henley have fought the development plans for several years, making Zuckerman a high-profile target of their public criticism.

Zuckerman, who owns both U.S. News & World Report and The Atlantic magazines, said Monday he sold his $4.2 million interest in the property at cost, with the stipulation that it also be resold to Henley's group without profit for a specified period.

The sale effectively removes Zuckerman from any further involvement in the land and the office park.