Endowment Fund of NC State University Selects The Conservation Fund to Manage Land-Use Negotiations for Hofmann Forest
Jun 5 15
The Board of Trustees for the Endowment Fund of NC State University has selected The Conservation Fund, supported by the law firm of Sutherland, Asbill & Brennan, to manage land-use negotiations for Hofmann Forest. The Conservation Fund-led partnership was selected out of 14 submissions following the Endowment Fund and Natural Resources Foundation's announcement of a new long-term strategy for Hofmann Forest and request for proposals earlier this year. The Conservation Fund's deep expertise and 30 years of achievements in environmental protection and economic vitality supported by the nearly 90 years of Sutherland's expertise in the timber and forest products industries and their significant experience negotiating complex transactions with the military will contribute to achieving its long-term sustainability plans for Hofmann Forest. The university's plan for Hofmann Forest includes maximizing the land as a natural resource and long-term financial asset for the benefit of academic programs and research in the College of Natural Resources, while protecting the majority of the 79,000-acre forest from intensive development. The university plans to retain ownership of the majority of the property and work to ensure conservation over as much as 70,000 acres of the land while preserving the Hofmann Forest name, maintaining access for students and faculty, and maintaining a sustainable working forest. The Conservation Fund and Sutherland will facilitate discussions with interested parties regarding the following potential opportunities: Negotiating a restricted use easement, license or lease agreements on up to 70,000 acres for training purposes related to the military presence. Negotiating a multi-decade timber deed on the approximately 56,000 acres of existing pine plantation with requirements for certified sustainable practices, ensuring the continuation of a sustainable working forest. Negotiating conservation easements for the approximate 18,000 acre Big Open Pocosin. Potential sale of the current 1,600 acre agricultural land with an agreement to continued agricultural use. Potential sale of the two mitigation banks, totaling about 450 acres, for continued mitigation use. Developing a long-term strategy for the about 4,000 acres south of State Highway 17 near Jacksonville, known as Block 10, that considers its higher and best use.