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Forested recreation in the heart of the Triangle 

Stop RDU Quarry

Help us stop the first private rock quarry on public land in North Carolina

HOT!  July 23, 2020 - DEQ-Mining sent an "Additional Information" letter to Wake Stone Corporation and asked for  long list of "Additional Information" indicating an incomplete application and insufficient information regarding the environmental impacts of the proposed quarry pit.  The DEQ letter did not address all the issues raised in the Public Hearing and the more than 1,800 Public Comments opposed to the new quarry pit, but it did reveal serious issues with the application and the submitted site plans and Erosion and Sediment Control Plans. 

NEW! July 22, 2020 - DEQ Denies Neuse Buffer Permit for RDUAA Perimeter Security Fence! Read the Press Release

Public comments about RDU Quarry can still be submitted to DEQ (copies to Governor and elected official using this link). Submit your comments now>>

The Odd Fellows Tract is 105 acres of forested land adjacent to Umstead State Park and the East Coast Greenway. RDU acquired the land in 1976 by a forced sale for a runway that was never built. 

In July 2017 the national nonprofit, The Conservation Fund, offered to buy the Odd Fellows Tract from RDU to expand Umstead State Park and build single-track bicycle/pedestrian trails.

The RDU Airport Authority (RDUAA) did not accept the offer from the Conservation Fund. It also rejected the quarry proposal in October 2017.

But with only two days notice to the public, and no public discussion, on March 1, 2019, RDU executed an Option and Lease Agreement with Wake Stone for a proposed quarry. The  RDUAA Board meeting lasted 4 minutes and 17 seconds. 

the Facts

The Land Is not owned by rdu

RDU doesn't own the land, they manage it for the Cities of Raleigh & Durham and Wake & Durham Counties.

Rdu can sell the land to the park

RDUAA can sell the land to Umstead State Park. The FAA allows the sale of land for non-aeronautical purposes.

It's a new mine, not an expansion

We can stop this mine by reinstating the 50-year Sunset Clause on the current Wake Stone mine.

private quarry on public land

This will set a new precedent for NC and be the first private quarry on public land in the state


1. Submit Written Comments to DEQ

You can submit written comments to DEQ until July 17, 2020. Submit your comments now.

2. Contact Public Officials

Local public officials have the power to stop the quarry and the fence. We have provided some sample emails/letters here. You can email or mail your letters to the elected officials asking for the 50-year Sunset Clause to be reinstated and to deny the new mining permit for the Odd Fellows Tract.

NC Office of the Governor

20301 Mail Service Center

Raleigh, NC 27699-0301

3. Contribute

We are working alongside residents, other non-profits and community groups to protect this land for all residents of the Triangle and for our future generations.

  • GoFundMe Fundraiser: Help support our legal fees for fighting Wake Stone Corporation & RDU by contributing to our GoFundMe fundraiser. 

  • T-shirts: There are two designs to choose from for just $20 each.

  • Free Yard Signs: We have both “Stop RDU Quarry” and “Protect Umstead State Park” designs available. 

4. Volunteer

Our volunteers help us in many ways from event planning to social media. It doesn't have to be a big time commitment, we welcome any and all help! If you're interested in volunteering, please email us at: info@umsteadcoalition.org

5. Connect

  • Change.org petition: Join over 22,000 other supporters and sign our Change.org petition.

  • Facebook: We have an engaged community on Facebook. 

6. Stay in the Know

Subscribe to our emails to stay up-to-date.

QUICK overview

The Raleigh-Durham Airport Authority (RDUAA) signed a “mineral lease” to Wake Stone Corporation, a private rock quarry company, on March 1, 2019 with 48 hour public notice. 

The contract to sell mineral property would allow Wake Stone to create a new rock quarry pit within a 105 acre tract adjacent to William B. Umstead State Park and Old Reedy Creek Road. The tract is referred to as the “Odd Fellows Tract.” 

Four local governments own the Odd Fellows Tract

The Odd Fellows Tract is publicly-owned and deeded to the Cities of Raleigh and Durham and the Counties of Wake and Durham. The NC legislation that establishes the RDUAA identifies the “owning municipalities” of the RDU Airport to be the Cities of Raleigh and Durham and the Counties of Wake and Durham. This would create a new 400 plus foot deep quarry pit on the west side of Crabtree Creek.

It's a sale, not a lease

The RDU “mineral lease” is a lease in name only. It is a contract with the sole purpose of allowing Wake Stone Corporation, a private business, to remove and sell public property (soil, rock) on the open market. The mineral rights would be conveyed from the public owners of the land to a private rock quarry company to sell.  Permanent removal of the forest, top soil, and rock would occur — truck load by truck load. It is estimated the quarry operations would generate 500 truckloads a day! 

It is not comparable to a land lease for a hotel or gas station as neither sell government property as a business model. In a normal land lease, the property is returned to the Landlord at the end of the term and can be used for another purpose. In this case, the only thing which will be returned is a liability, a large pit with net negative value. It will not be able to be reused. This pit will be very dangerous with steep slopes, and will require a fence to keep everyone out.  

Watch our interview with The Triangle Talk Show from June 2020:


June & July 2020

  • July 23, 2020. DEQ-Division of Mineral, Energy and Land Resources (DEMLR) sent an "Additional Information" request letter to Wake Stone Corporation.  Wake Stone must comply and supply the requested "Additional Information" before DEQ-DEMLR can complete its review of the Mining Permit Application for a new rock mine on the west side of Crabtree Creek.  The letter also states "Please note, this office may request additional information, not included in this letter, as the mining application review progresses." 
  • July 22, 2020. DEQ-Division of Water Resources (DWR) denied the Neuse Buffer permit for the  RDUAA "Enhanced Perimeter Fence."   RDUAA has told the Press they intent to submit a new Neuse Buffer Application and try again. 
  • Written comments submitted to DEQ until July 17, 2020  are included in the Pubic Hearing Comments. Additional Comments can be sent and will be considered by DEQ until a "Decision" is made to Deny or Approve the Permit.  Over 1,800 Public Comments have been submitted requesting denial of the Mining Permit. Submit your comments now.
  • ┬Ěhe Town of Cary submits a letter as part of the Public Comments stating concerns for the Cary infrastructure including: North Cary Water Reclamation Plant, Cary’s portion of Old Reedy Creek Road and it’s one-lane bridge, and the Town’s Trail head facilities at Wake County’s Lake Crabtree County Park

  • Due to large number of speakers, 9 hours of Public Comments were heard on June 23, 2020 and July 7, 2020.   Public Hearing Report (a summary of the Oral Public Hearing and comments) was posted to DEQ's web site on July 27, 2020.

May 2020

  • The Public Hearing for RDU Quarry was held virtually on June 23, 2020 at 6 p.m. EDT and 9am on July 7, 2020. 

April 2020

    • On April 8, 2020, Wake Stone filed a Mining Permit Application. Please email NC Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) and the Governor requesting the permit application be denied and for an in person Public Hearing. All letters must be sent via snail mail and received by April 25, 2020. Read more
    February 2020
    • The Judge signed an injunction that prohibits Wake Stone Corporation from extracting rock from the Odd Fellows Tract until June 2022
    • The Umstead Coalition & TORC submitted a proposal to create legal, single track biking trails on Tract 286
    • The RDUAA temporarily put the decision to build the RDU Fence on hold. We anticipate this may only be a "short" hold 
    • We have 22,000 signatures on our Change.org petition!

    January 2020

    December 2019

    • The Umstead Coalition & Triangle Off-Road Cyclists (TORC) filed their lawsuit appeal
    • RDUAA (with no public discussion or notice to Umstead State Park or the affected residences) indicates they will build an 8.3 miles of barbed-wire-topped chain link fence

    November 2019

    • The Judge rules in favor of RDUAA in our lawsuit case (we appealed).  It should be noted, that the Judge did confirm that the OWNERS of the Odd Fellows Tract are:  The Counties of Wake and Durham, and the Cities of Raleigh and Durham. 

    July-September 2019

    • Local filmmaker, Charles Morris, produced the documentary 400 Feet Down and we had three sold out screenings with 800 attendees

    July 2019

    • We had 350 people support our cause at our first public rally

    March 2019

    March 2019

    • RDUAA executed an Option and Mineral Lease Agreement with Wake Stone Corporation. This was done with a surprise 48 hour meeting notice and no prior public meeting or discussion.  All took place in a 4 minute, 17 second hastily-called RDUAA Board meeting. 

    November 2017

    • FAA gave "Conditional Approval" to the Airport Layout Plan (ALP) dated October 30, 2017 in an FAA letter dated November 20, 2017.   It should be noted that "Conditional Approval" is NOT "Approval" as the RDUAA has been trying to imply.  Per FAA Standard Operating Procedures 2.00,  "Conditional Approval" does "NOT authorized the airport sponsor or project proponent to begin building the facilities shown on the conditionally approved ALP. The sponsor or proponent may start building those facilities only after the ARP (FAA Airports) completes its environmental analysis of those facilities and the approving FAA official issues an unconditional approval of the ALP depicting those facilities." (Source: ARP SOP No. 2.00, Effective October 1, 2013).

    October 2017

    • Wake County Commissioners request the RDUAA to reconsider The Conservation Fund's offer to purchase the Odd Fellows tract
    • The Conservation Fund responded to an RFP to RDUAA with an offer to lease or buy the Odd Fellows Tract
    • Wake Stone Corporation responded to an RFP to RDUAA with an offer to "lease" Odd Fellows for a rock mine (create a 400 deep mine)
    • RDUAA rejected both proposals (motion to reject both proposals made by John Kane, RDUAA Board member)

    September 2017

    • The Conservation Fund made an offer to buy the Odd Fellows Tract,  RDUAA rejected their offer

    July, August 2017

    • EDSA, an International Landscape Architect Firm with Susan Hatchell Landscape Architecture (a local Raleigh firm) developed a "RDU Forest Trails and Village concept"
    • At the request of the Wake County Board of County Commissioners, the Development Finance Initiative (DFI) at the University of North Carolina’s (UNC) School of Government conducted an introductory feasibility analysis to examine the potential of a recreation-themed development based upon our RDU Forest concept.  DFI conservatively estimated that a recreation-themed development concept could catalyze roughly $200 million in private investment.

    October 2016

    • RDUAA Board approves a draft Airport Layout Plan (ALP) and Land Use Master Plan.  Without any alternative analysis for the non-aeronautical land used  (the stuff other than the runways, terminals and similar) and ignoring 11,000 public comments RDUAA Board approves a change of land use for the Odd Fellows Tract to "Industrial/Quarry."  (note:  no mention of the quarry was made during this Board meeting, nor is such reflected in the minutes. Later, the RDUAA staff declared the quarry was included in this Board approval. The ALP/Master Plan was submitted to the FAA in March 2017 and again in October 2017, practically unchanged. 

    the Odd Fellows Tract

    "What has been missing from the debate, as far as I can tell, is any real appreciation by the media, elected officials, or the general public for just how beautiful and special the Oddfellows tract of woods really is. Few people besides Boy Scouts and mountain bikers have ever been out there, which works to RDUAA and Wake Stone's unfair advantage. 

    So as a citizen of Durham or Wake Counties, and thus as a co-owner of this public forest, I decided to share my best photos of Oddfellows with you so you can judge for yourself whether this land deserves to be turned into a pit in the ground."
    -The Ghost of Oddfellows

    We will need your continued support as we fight the quarry, and now, the RDU Fence. We remain steadfastly committed to our goals: 

    Protect Umstead State Park

    Save our public lands and prevent the first private quarry on public lands in NC

    Stop exploitation of our public lands

    Protect the trails at Lake Crabtree County Park (yes, the airport proposes to turn them into an office park)

    Expand legal biking and pedestrian trails in the Old Reedy Creek Corridor, including on airport property and Umstead State Park


    See answers to the most common questions we get asked about the quarry and the fence. Learn more>>


    Stay up-to-date with the latest developments about the quarry and the fence. Read now>>


    We have over 45 local businesses and organizations supporting us. Learn more>>


    We are a coalition of residents, organizations, businesses, and entrepreneurs working towards preserving Lake Crabtree County Park, protecting Umstead State Park, and preserving the forested corridor that connects them.