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Hofmann Forest in southeast North Carolina is, at 79,000 acres, the largest tract of state-owned land in NC. It has been owned for the benefit of NC State University for 80 years, ever since “Doc” Hofmann purchased the tract for his newly founded School of Forestry. The forest is critically important for wildlife such as black bears, otters, owls, and rattlesnakes and is part of a wildlife corridor. In the past few months, this wild home has been threatened. NC State University has decided it is time to sell this vast coastal forest for $150 million. The buyer is Hofmann Forest LLC, someone who is ready to bulldoze 45,000 acres of this forest and turn it into crop fields (to grow corn which would feed corporate hogs) and another 9,000 acres to make golf courses and strip malls.
This just sounds too horrible to be true.
In fact, I feel nauseated by it.
If you have driven around eastern North Carolina, you’ve already seen all the pig farms that are devastating the environment in our precious state. In between farms, you’ll find a forest mosaic that serves as a wildlife corridor for our wild neighbors. Destroying Hofmann forest would be be disastrous for wildlife, water quality (3 rivers flow out of Hofmann Forest), and the reputation of NC State University. It would also be disastrous for all the people who work in the forestry industry and for all of us who need to visit a forest to feel a connection with nature in this crazy world.
I believe selling Hofmann forest is a crime against the environment and against wildlife and it should not happen.
This is why we’ve signed this petition. Join thousands of people who’d rather keep a wild forest than go shopping in the mall. The petition is to Randy Woodson, Chancellor, NCSU, Mary Watzin, Dean, NCSU College of Natural Resources, and 2 others. Sign here:
You can keep track of this important issue at Save Hofmann Forest website and their Facebook page. “Save Hofmann Forest” is a coalition led by Ron Sutherland, a Wildlands Network conservation scientist, Fred Cubbage, who also is a former head of the school’s forestry department and Jones County landowner John Eddy. They’ve already sued to require NCSU to at least be required to conduct an environmental assessment that they believe is needed.
If we all want to save more forests, we should all consider consuming less pork products.
Because the bacon you eat comes from a place where a forest used to stand and bears and owls used to prowl.
Save the forests!