Regarding the March 23 editorial “A forest victory”: I am glad that N.C. State is developing a plan to retain the 79,000-acre Hofmann Forest near Jacksonville. The original plan was to sell the forest and put the money into alternative investments that supposedly would yield greater annual revenue compared with forest enterprise and research.
The university has a strong forestry curriculum in the School of Natural Resources.Hofmann Forest is a unique resource that could never be replaced if it were lost.
The plan to sell the forest sent a very bad message to the public and to landowners and investors in natural resources: “Forestry does not pay, so you would be advised to invest your money elsewhere.” That is not a message that should be sent by the land grant university in North Carolina, especially since it has an internationally recognized forestry program. Also, it would not be a good message to send in a time when the acreage of land in forestry and agricultural is constantly decreasing, resulting in greater demands upon the acreage that remains.
Forest research will find answers and solutions to help increase the yield of goods, revenue and amenities from forests, and Hofmann Forest represents a unique laboratory in the realm of forest research.
Professor emeritus, N.C. State