The forest for the trees.

Position:EASTERN REGION - Brief article

Legal wrangling over N.C. State University's plan to sell its 79,000-acre research forest near Jacksonville for $140 million is coming to a head. The state Supreme Court is expected to rule in the next few months whether to require an environmental-impact study of Hofmann Forest, which was assembled by the first dean of N.C. State's School of Forestry in 1934. The university argues the land is not subject to state law requiring a study that would prolong the dispute. Activists, including N.C. State forestry professor Fred Cubbage, filed a lawsuit to block the sale in 2013. University officials want the money to enrich N.C. State's $884 million endowment as funding from state government declined to 34% of the total budget in 2013-14 versus 42% in 2008-2009. The highest-profile opponent of the sale may be former Raleigh Mayor Charles Meeker, who called it "an impending blunder" and urged the...

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