The forest is named for the founder of the NCSU forestry program, Julius "Doc" Hofmann. The forest had been used by the university for research and it got money each year in timber sales.
Critics say a company document released soon after the sale announcement suggests the buyers plan to cut down the trees for development and to grow crops. They filed a lawsuit to try to block the sale, but it was dismissed by a judge. They've now appealed.
The company buying the land says it has no immediate development plans. NCSU says it was assured the company plans to keep a working forest at Hofman.