N.C. State's Hofmann Forest Will Not Be Sold, At Least Not Yet

Dec 5, 2014

The land that became the Hofmann Forest was first bought by Julius Hoffman, the first Dean of NC State's College of Forestry.
Credit Historical State, NCSU Libraries

NC State University will not be selling Hofmann Forest, for now. The two firms that had agreed to buy the 79,000-acre research forest near Jacksonville could not meet its financial obligations to buy the property.

The two firms, Resource Management Service and Hoffman Forest, LLC, had agreed to pay $131 million to buy Hofmann Forest. But they ran into financial problems almost immediately after entering into the agreement with NC State.

While this contract has terminated, that doesn’t mean Hofmann Forest won’t be sold in the future.

The Board of Trustees of the NC State Natural Resources Foundation controls the Hofmann Forest.

“I think it’s safe to say they still believe and have always believed that selling this property is in the best interests of the College of Natural Resources,” said Chancellor Randy Woodson. “So my sense is that that will continue to be a priority.”

Opponents of the sale held protests and signed online petitions when the sale was announced earlier this year. The two sides presented oral arguments to the state Supreme Court last month; the Court is still deliberating. Opponents argued that Hofmann Forest is state land and is therefore subject to the state Environmental Policy Act.

Woodson says the lawsuit and the protests have not swayed the Board.

“There’s not been a single point of hesitation from the Board or the Foundation in selling the property,” he said.