State News

NC State selling most of Hofmann Forest to timber company

Posted September 10, 2014

The 79,000-acre Hofmann Forest in Jones and Onslow counties is the largest university-owned teaching and research forest in the world.

— North Carolina State University plans to sell most of the Hoffman Forest to a company that specializes in sustainable timber management.

Resource Management Service of Alabama will buy about 56,000 acres near Jacksonville under an agreement approved by trustees of the NC State Natural Resources Foundation Inc. The original buyer, Hofmann Forest LLC, plans to buy the remaining 23,000 acres.

N.C. State also agreed to cut the original price of $150 million by $19 million.

The Department of Defense has expressed interest in acquiring easements on all or part of the approximately 70,000 acres northwest of U.S. Highway 17 for training. Both buyers have agreed to negotiate easements for airspace, blackout rights and other military activities.

The forest was bought in the 1930s for research and to provide income for the school's forestry program.

The school has said it wanted to sell the land because it was not generating enough revenue and was not being used very much anymore for research.

“This agreement generates critical resources that will enhance educational and research opportunities for the College of Natural Resources while providing for sustainability of the forest and continuing student and faculty access to the property," N.C. State Chancellor Randy Woodson said in a statement.

Opponents say the school has downplayed the land's research value, as well as its environmental role.


This story is closed for comments.

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  • less_govt_is_better_govt Sep 10, 2014

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    NC has way too many more northern transplants

  • Billy Smith Sep 10, 2014
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    NC Democrats talk environment while creating coal ash ponds and PCB dumps in Warren County.

  • dirtydozen431 Sep 10, 2014

    Next time its 'paper or plastic' guess where paper comes from.

  • Michael Hart Sep 10, 2014
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    ah I have... Went to NC state school of Forestry years ago...... it's their methods that are flawed..... clear cutting and leaving "seed trees" doe nothing to allow the natural stands to properly replenish.... the scrub pines and Popular thrive and leave the Hardwoods to fend for space

  • Ty Shrake Sep 10, 2014
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    The vast majority of the wildlife will be fine. Some will stay and some will move into other areas (there is a LOT of timbered space in that county). The logging company has no interest in killing wildlife.

    About 23,000 acres will be left as a forest.

  • Tim Kelly Sep 10, 2014
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    Mon Account

    "What about the wildlife? Will that be replanted?"

    Heh heh, good one.

  • Tim Kelly Sep 10, 2014
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    Look no further than the mean, old republicans on Jones Street who have felt a need to continually strip the UNC system and education as a whole over the past four years. Republicans have shown little respect for the environment as well as public education so I guess they would consider this a "win-win."

  • Thomas Williams Sep 10, 2014
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    The country as a whole is asleep. We are more worried about getting free cellphones that what is going on with ISIS, and Iran, and ukraine, and the list goes on and on and on.

  • Grand Union Sep 10, 2014

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    Yeah and the resulting momculture is so like a real forest - NOT. NC State should be utterly ashamed of itself. Hopefully legal action can stop this sale.

  • m24s Sep 10, 2014

    To all who are commenting: thanks for expressing your interest here. This possible sell has been going on for a while now and there are many trying to fight it! Let your voice be heard!

    I will say that this new development is so much better an offer than has been on the table. This gives a portion of the forest a chance to continue to grow and develop as it tended - A Forest. Hopefully they will allow the NCSU School of Forestry to continue using it as a Teaching Forest!

    Please take time to share your voice and Save Hoffman Forest!