A controversial saga about selling the Hoffmann Forest by North Carolina State University, that began more than three years ago, is almost over. Last Friday, N.C. State University officials announced that they had reached an agreement with an international timberland investment company “Resource Management Service, LLC”.
N.C. State University will receive a one-time payment equal to 78 million U.S. dollars in exchange for the 50-year timber deed. The Hofmann Forest Timberlands LLC, a subsidiary of Resource Management Service, has to ensure long-term sustainability for the land and consistent annual income for the College of Natural Resources.
Mary Watzin, dean of the school’s College of Natural Resources, said that the timber deed gives RMS rights to “sustainably grow, harvest and replant the timber on 54,334 acres of working forest, with the N.C. State Endowment maintaining ownership of the land”.
The agreement will also allows students and faculty in the College of Natural Resources to teach and conduct research across the property.
Moreover, Resource Management Service, is required to manage the forests to meet sustainable forest management certification requirements and return an improved age class distribution of trees at the end of the 50-year contract.
It is worth to mention that initially, the school had planned to sell the entire forest to an Illinois-based agribusiness that published a perspective that alarmed conservationists because it talked of widespread agricultural use and residential and commercial development.
The timber deed is about 54,334 acres of the 79,000-acre Hofmann Forest in Onslow and Jones counties.
The Forest Monitor will keep eye on what will happen with the rest.
More details about Hoffman Forest timber deed can be found here: