Regarding the snakes - showing kids how to pick up a northern water snake without getting bit is actually a pretty cool trick, I was impressed this summer. That sort of knowledge needs to be combined with the skills to identify a copperhead, though, or else it could go very wrong.
But I wasn't impressed when Spence decided it was ok to let the kids swim in the rapids on the Eno on a day when the river was about a foot higher than usual and the water was ripping through. I went to the base of the rapids and ended up grabbing three different kids by the arm as they were being swept away down river.
I'm all for letting kids experience nature, but safety is important too. I don't think our kid will be going back.
The protest will be at NCSU's Brickyard plaza, adjacent to Harrelson Hall. See you there!
Great Hofmann letter Sarah!
If people want to help stop the sale of Hofmann Forest to the Illinois corn farmer, here's what you can do:
1. attend our protest Friday, Dec 6, NCSU campus "Brickyard" plaza, 12pm-2pm. Parking should be available at the Dan Allen Visitor's lot on Dan Allen Dr, or nearby off Hillsborough St.
2. like us on Facebook: Save Hofmann Forest
3. like the protest event, and share it with your own friends
4. sign the online petition - google Hofmann Forest ipetition
5. write every NCSU official you can think of and ask them to stop the sale
From the standpoint of bears and rattlesnakes and forestry students, its too bad the Walker deal didn't fall through completely back in March!
If they were this reluctant, makes you wonder how they were still chosen to be the best buyer, especially given who Jerry Walker is (a corn farmer) and given NCSU's supposed criterion for the sale (keeping Hofmann a forest).
If readers want to help stop the destruction of this 80,000 acre forest down at the coast, here's how:
1. sign the petition - google Hofmann Forest ipetition
2. like us on Facebook (Save Hofmann Forest)
3. come out to protests as they are announced
4. donate to the Hofmann legal fund, instructions at petition site
Great article Jane, and I hope even more juicy details emerge from the NCSU emails.
Here is one example of a direct promise by a senior NCSU official saying that Hofmann would remain a working forest (note that Mr. Suggs also clarifies that "legacy of the forest" means "the name"!).
Thank you for your note. I sincerely appreciate and respect your opinion and since our alumni association is not directly involved in the sale process, we will make sure it gets to the folks who are. We appreciate open dialogue and free expression from all sides.
This has been a long, inclusive process that has involved many opportunities for those in support and opposition to voice their opinions.
We value the forest deeply – the land has been a part of NC State for many decades. And we set some strict conditions of sale early in this process that any buyer must meet to ensure the land continues to be an asset for NC State going forward.
Those conditions include:
Maintaining access to the forest for NC State faculty and students to conduct research
Preserving the property as a working forest
Maintaining the legacy of the forest by keeping the name
In addition to its academic value, Hofmann is an investment for the university and we have an obligation to continually explore ways to leverage assets like the forest to expand academic programs, promote research opportunities and increase scholarships for the good of the college, students and faculty.
Be assured that any decision regarding the future of the forest will be made with the goal of enhancing the College of Natural Resources’ commitment to forestry education, teaching and research.
[=Executive Director of the NCSU Alumni Association]
this reply was sent to numerous alumni who wrote Mr. Suggs to express their displeasure with the sale.
If Jerry Walker follows the plans that are in the prospectus, then sure, he'll be in the timber business. He'll be cutting 5000 acres of trees a year, in fact.
But all of that land will then be bulldozed flat to make way for corn fields and golf resorts.
It remains to be discovered who came up with the 9000 acre development plan that was in the prospectus. Walker Group says it was NCSU, NCSU says they only provided a 4000 acre plan. Might be that they are both lying.
But either way, the Sale Agreement signed between NCSU and Walker Group/Hofmann LLC explicitly leaves out 9000 acres from potential "protection" with a farming easement. Only a fool would believe that its a coincidence that that those two documents match so well.
Tom Percival can say they have no plans for development all he wants, but the truth is that once this deal has closed, Walker will go right back to the prospectus plans to start making a significant profit off of his investment.
If people want to help stop this:
1. sign our petition - Google Hofmann Forest ipetition
2. like us on Facebook (Save Hofmann Forest)
3. write to as many NCSU officials as you can and tell them to immediately stop the sale.
4. show up for protests as they are announced
Note that the statement by Jerry Walker's group says they have no plans to develop "the property" into a large residential or commercial community. That is not a denial that they won't develop a mere 9000 acres of Hofmann into what they might term a "medium sized" community.
And note that they don't deny the farming plans at all!!!
So we're still looking at 53,000 acres of forest being destroyed.
The key issue here is that the Hofmann LLC prospectus is entirely consistent with the Sale Agreement that NCSU signed with Jerry Walker. So either NCSU's leadership is incompetent and didn't know what they were signing, or they've been lying to us all along.
Either way they need to be held accountable!
If you want to help, please google Hofmann Forest petition, and write the NCSU Board of Trustees and express your profound disappointment in this situation.
Stop the sale!
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