RALEIGH, NC (AP) — Trustees of NC State University’s Endowment Fund have agreed to sell the 79,000-acre Hofmann Forest near Jacksonville to an Illinois-based agribusiness company for $150 million.
The News & Observer of Raleigh reports the money will be placed in endowment funds, and income from its investment will be used mainly to benefit the College of Natural Resources.
Conservationists, forestry experts and landowners oppose the sale. Those groups filed a lawsuit last month saying the state was required to consider public input and the potential environmental impact of selling the land, among other issues.
A judge denied the groups a temporary restraining order to stop the sale after lawyers from the state Attorney General’s Office argued that the sale wasn’t imminent.
NC State identifies the buyer as a family-owned farming company.
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