RDU Airport and Wake Stone plan to build a quarry on publicly owned land that borders Umstead State Park and the East Coast Greenway.  This is one of the most used recreation corridors in the Triangle. There is a better alternative. The Conservation Fund has offered to buy the land — 105 acres known as the Oddfellows tract — from RDU to expand Umstead State Park. The intention is to use the Oddfellows tract and nearby portions of Umstead State Park for singletrack mountain biking and hiking trails.

Who has pledged to Protect Umstead State Park?

At a recent screening of the movie 400 Feet Down at the Rialto Theatre in Raleigh, several local officials chose to speak up in support of protecting Umstead State Park from the proposed RDU Quarry project. Watch them explain in their own words why this effort is so important. Speakers include:

  • David Cox (Raleigh City Council - District B)
  • Stef Mendell (Raleigh City Council - District E)
  • Kay Crowder (Raleigh City Council - District D)
  • Russ Stephenson (Raleigh City Council - At Large)
  • Sam Hershey (Raleigh City Council Candidate - District A)
  • Steve Rao (Morrisville Town Council)
  • Charles Francis (Raleigh Mayoral Candidate) Charles also wrote this recent article explaining his stance.

The video below helps explain more of what is at stake in this decision, and why we are advocating for an alternative that preserves the land for recreation and expands the Triangle's most valuable recreational asset, William B. Umstead State Park.

Quick Actions you can do to help

  1. Email or call your elected officials

    These four local governments own RDU Airport. They can help, and have the power to do such. It is very important they hear from their constituents about the total opposition to the quarry! Keep it positive and classy :-) Several already support our efforts and are appreciative of your positive comments. Personal stories are great about how you value and enjoy our forested parks. See the resources later on this page for more details and suggested talking points.
    And it's worth reading about the lawsuit in a nutshell, how RDU AA overstepped their authority, and why the local government owners must assert their rights.

    commissioners@wakegov.comCityCouncilMembers@raleighnc.govcommissioners@dconc.govcouncil@durhamnc.gov
  2. Contact the honorable governor Roy Cooper

    Tell the Honorable Governor Roy Cooper you are opposed to a quarry on our public lands bordering Umstead State Park!

  3. Request yard sign(s)

    We have both "Stop RDU Quarry" and "Save RDU Forest" designs available

  4. Sign the Petition

    Ya'll are AmaZinG! Join over 19,000 people who have signed the petition supporting RDU Forest.

  5. Stay in touch

    Stay informed! We won't overload your inbox, just let you know when there are important developments or actions to take.

  6. GoFundMe

    Help fund the effort. Donations are tax-deductible.

Resources for More Info

Ready to dig into the details? We gotcha covered:

  • Check out the lawsuit in a nutshell, how RDU AA overstepped their authority, and why the local government owners must assert their rights.
  • Here is the option and mineral lease agreement between RDU AA and Wake Stone executed on March 1, 2019. The agreement is a lease in name only, it is effectively a sale and permanent disposal of the land, and leaves the 4 local governments that own the property with a perpetual liability (a 400' deep hole in the ground).
  • RDU exceeded its authority in executing that agreement without the approval of the 4 owning governments. That lead to a lawsuit against RDU AA and Wake Stone. This memo outlines the legal arguments of the case.
  • Concerned about the mineral lease, and wanting to have a say in this decision, Raleigh Council Members Cox, Crowder, Mendell, and Stephenson, along with NC Senator Nickel sent this memo to the FAA.
  • Instead of a quarry, we are advocating to preserve the Odd Fellows tract as an addition to Umstead State Park
  • The Conservation Fund is offering to purchase the land for inclusion into Umstead State Park. In this video Bill Holman explains the offer and their interest in the land.
  • In this letter NC State Parks expresses their desire to incorporate the Odd Fellows tract into Umstead State Park, and to use both that land and nearby portions of Umstead State Park for bicycle and pedestrian singletrack trails. The Odd Fellows tract is on NC State Parks critical land acquisition list, and they are eager to protect it and add it to the park to serve the rapidly increasing visitor growth at the park.
  • Wake County Commissioners unanimously passed this resolution supporting the purchase of Odd Fellows for incorporation into the park, and asking RDU AA to reconsider the Conservation Fund offer.
  • RDU AA often cites the lease as providing $24M in revenue. However, that figure never appears in the lease! Wake Stone only guarantees $8.5M, payments are back-loaded, and only have a present value of $4.6M. This is nearly $2M less than the Conservation Fund cash offer of $6.46M to purchase the land. Even if best case mineral production estimates are achieved, RDU will earn less than 1% of the $2B they project is needed to fund the Vision2040 plan. Meanwhile, Wake Stone stands to make over $430M from the sale of minerals they extract from our public property. Here is a cash flow analysis comparing the options.
  • Wake Stone has promoted their proposed quarry pit as having a positive after-life, but provided little evidence or engineering-based facts to back it up. They also promote the mining permit process as "the right path forward", and discourage the local governments from exercising their right to have a say in the use of this land. In this memo to the local governments, Bill Doucette offers some important history and critique on those points. And in this writeup, we offer more detail on the damage we feel the quarry will cause both now, and the permanent liability it will leave behind.
  • You can find more detailed videos on our YouTube Channel, including suspected water runoff issues issues from the current quarry, and former Morrisville mayor Mark Stohlman explaining why the mineral "lease" isn't really a lease at all.