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RALEIGH, NC (AP) — The proposed buyer of a massive research forest owned by North Carolina State University is distancing itself from a leaked prospectus suggesting it would clear cut much of the woodland for a golf course, homes and farms.

The News & Observer of Raleigh reported that a representative of Hofmann Forest LLC reaffirmed earlier public statements that the company would not develop the forest. Spokesman Tom Percival says the leaked document was for internal use and does not reflect the company’s current plans.

University officials announced last month they would sell the nearly 80,000-acre tract for $150 million dollars, specifically citing assurances the company owned by Illinois agri-businessman Jerry Walker would preserve the environmentally sensitive land.

Hofmann is home to large populations of black bears and rare Eastern diamondback rattlesnakes.

(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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