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NC State says deal to sell Hofmann Forest is off because buyers can't come up with money

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RALEIGH, North Carolina — N.C. State University says the deal to sell Hofmann Forest is off because the buyers couldn't come up with the $131 million sales price.

Multiple media outlets report the university said in a news release Friday that it still plans to find a buyer for the 79,000-acre forest in Onslow and Jones counties near Jacksonville. It's been trying to sell the forest to boost the endowment fund that benefits the College of Natural Resources.

In October, the N.C. Supreme Court took up an appeal over the sale, bypassing the N.C. Court of Appeals.

Foresters, professors and conservationists sued in September 2013, saying the forest is a crucial and irreplaceable natural resource. They argued the property belongs to the state and that any sale should be subject to environmental review.

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