The proposed sale of the Hofmann forest: a case study in natural resource policy.
In January 2013, the North Carolina State University (NCSU) Endowment Fund and Natural Resources Foundation proposed selling the 79,000 acre Hofmann Forest, which a Forestry Foundation at NCSU had purchased in 1934 and used for education, research, and demonstration programs. This proposed sale prompted substantial public and faculty opposition, as well as a lawsuit filed based on the North Carolina Environmental Policy Act (named SEPA). Various factors - including the lawsuit, public protests, media exposure, and a new university strategy in 2015 - shifted the university's plan from the outright sale of the Hofmann to retaining ownership of the majority of the property and selling a timber deed to a Timber Investment Management Organization (TIMO) in 2016 in order to ensure conservation over as much as 70,000 acres of the land. This public university policy issue is described here in some detail as a case study.