Draining and clear-cutting our precious wetlands:
The Corps and EPA officials will likely visit the forest before deciding whether wetlands were illegally ditched, Sugg said. He had told Coastal Review Online in early February and other media since then that some wetland rules appear to have been violated in the Hofmann.
The Corps’ investigation began early this year after the N.C. Coastal Federation asked for information about ditching activities in the forest. The request was triggered by an “investors’ prospectus” that surfaced late last year after N.C. State shocked many by announcing the pending sale. The document raised numerous questions about what the new owners would do with the land; it outlines commercial and residential development on thousands of acres, calling into question assurances from the prospective new owner that it would maintain most of the forest for research and timber management and sales, and not convert it to agricultural, commercial and residential uses.
The prospectus noted that more than 5,500 acres in the Hofmann had been clear cut and could easily be converted to agriculture.
And what's becoming more and more obvious as time goes by is the State's premier agricultural institution (NC State) is managed by people who only give a passing nod to conservation of our natural resources:
“They (the school officials) talked like this was a windfall or a boon for the university and mentioned that it was almost as much as the whole budget of the college (of natural resources),” Cubbage added. “There wasn’t any talk of sustainability or why we teach management of resources.”
The resolution was referred to a senate faculty committee, he said. Cubbage didn’t detect any enthusiasm among other faculty members to address it. “It wasn’t tabled, so technically it can come back, but I really don’t see that happening,” he added. “I had thought we had a 50-50 chance, but I think I was wrong.”
All of North Carolina's universities are trying to plug gaping budget shortfalls, but destroying a critical link in the ecosystem is not the way to do that.