The Umstead Coalition
Dedicated to the appreciation, use, and preservation of the William B. Umstead State Park and the Richland Creek natural area

STOP RDU Quarry !!

RDU Airport Authority is trying to move forward to destroy our forested PUBLIC lands with a NEW quarry adjacent to William B. Umstead State Park! 

Quick Actions YOU can do to help:

Please help STOP RDU from destroying public lands for private gain. There are alternatives that both preserve the forest and provide income. #RDUForest Please do any and all the following at you can DO.  ASAP!

1.  Attend July 27, 3pm Rally and 6pm Movie Premiere:

Link to RSVP: Protect Umstead State Park - Stop RDU Quarry Rally (July 27, 3pm)

Free, Tickets required: Movie Premier "400 Feet Down: Misguided Authority and the Fight to#StopRDUQuarry  (July 27, 6pm)

More: Stop RDU Quarry

2. Email your elected officials from the local governments that own our airport. THEY CAN HELP, and they have the POWER to do such. VERY IMPORTANT they hear from their constituents about the TOTAL opposition to this quarry and urge them to do their duty to STOP!!!

3. Tell The Honorable Governor Roy Cooper you are opposed to a quarry on OUR public lands next to Umstead State Park!

4. Call Congressman David Price at 202-225-1784 and tell him: You are OPPOSED to a rock quarry on PUBLIC lands next to Umstead State Park. You can also leave a message at:

5. Write N&O Letter to Editor:

6. Request a "Stop RDU Quarry" and/or "Save RDU Forest" Yard Sign(s). Click here to fill out request form

7. Petition (join 18,000 others): Sign the Petition

(Donations are tax-deductible

More information:

More on our Lawsuit:

March 18, 2018 in Wake County Court, the Judge confirmed merit in Umstead Coalition and TORC’s contentions that the RDU Airport Authority has failed to follow Federal Regulations and NC State Law.

The judge granted a TRO on any actions beyond exploratory drilling.  The TRO prohibits Wake Stone from exercising its lease option. An evidentiary hearing in his court will be held in 10 days or so to consider a full injunction.

Press Release, March 18, 2018

The Umstead Coalition, TORC and private citizens file on March 12, 2019 a Complaint and motion for temporary restraining order and motion for preliminary injunction.  Press Release - Motion for Temporary Restraining Order Filed Against Quarry activities - RDU March 12, 2019.pdf

Great NEWS!  Temporary Restraining Order (TRO)  extended until August 5!  Press Release April 1

Court filings

City of Raleigh Request to get FAA Response

Attorney Mattox, on behalf of The Umstead Coalition confirming FAA says RDU needs a Release (from Federal Obligations) approved from FAA

NC Senator Wiley Nickel letter to FAA asking for confirmation of local government right and obligation to have a voice in their own airport lands (yes, the airport is owned by 4 municipalities: City of Raleigh, City of Durham, County of Wake, County of Durham)

We believe our Court filings were necessary because of the rapid (within one working day) mobilization by Wake Stone Corporation to commence exploratory drilling on the site (trees logged, road constructed, heavy equipment brought on site).

We also firmly believe that Federal Regulations and State Laws are being violated. Here is just one example of such (there are more, but this is the core of why each of the local government owners DO and MUST have a direct voice:

1. The 105 acre Odd Fellows Tract is Designated as "Federally Obligated."  It does not matter if Federal funds were used to purchase (although we think they were).  You can read it in the FAA Reg, FAA has told us this, and told others.  REGs

2. If a "Federally Obligated" tract is taken out of "aeronautical use" (such as for a rock quarry) a "Release" from Federal Obligations is required to be reviewed and approved by the FAA.  The FAA has told us a Release is required. (letter from NC Senator Wiley Nickey and City of Raleigh Council members: Mendell, Cox, Stephenson, Crowder)

And, a Federal Register Notice for public comments must then be posted. An recent example at Williamsport Regional Airport, Montoursville, Pennsylvania:

3. The request for a "Release" from Federal Obligations must be requested from the airport "Sponsor."  FAA has told us that the required Release has not been requested.

And, we contend that the FAA Regulations also state that a lease for a rock quarry can NOT be signed until such a Release has been requested and approved by the FAA.

4. The "Sponsor" for our airport are the Co-sponosrs of: RDUAA, City of Raleigh, City of Durham, County of Wake, County of Durham.  ALL must sign, similar to any FAA Grant agreements.

Such actions (of signing, or not signing) always come before the City Councils and County Commissioners -- THEREFORE, the required opportunity for each of the 4 local owners of the RDU Airport to have a direct voice!!  

These Federally Regulations are being completely ignored by the RDU AA.  Therefore, we felt the necessity to file in Wake Count Court to assist with compliance of the Federal Regulations and State Laws.

Do not be discouraged.  We ARE making our Public Voice be heard.  We will continue for the right of citizens and the local government owners of the RDU Airport to have their voices heard - as is the right per Federal Regulations and NC State Law.

Here is our attorney's letter we sent them to let the local government official KNOW that they have the RIGHT, DUTY, and OBLIGATION to take a vote.  Memo Re RDU Airport Quarry Lease 2-28-2019 FINAL.pdf

Complaint filed in Wake County Court on March 12, 2019:  Complaint

Press Release - Motion for Temporary Restraining Order Filed Against Quarry activities - RDU March 12, 2019.pdf

Umstead v. RDU Complaint Filed 3-12-2019 orc'ed.pdf

City of Raleigh request to the RDU for information about Release from Federal Obligations:

2019.03.08 RDUAA Letter from Raleigh to RDU requesting FAA Release info.pdf

Read the unbelievably bad deal to cannibalize our pubic lands that RDUAA

signed March 1, 2019:  lease


Request a Yard Sign. Click here to fill out request form

Sign the Petition

We have more than 16,000 signatures, but the more the better!  Be counted and show how important this is to the community.


Spread the word - get others to sign!

Add your comment to the N&O Article:

Comments add interest and helps keep news interest

Help PREVENT the destruction of our public lands.  STOP THE RDU QUARRY!

RDU’s Airport Authority is quickly moving forward with plans to allow Wake Stone to expand their quarry onto public lands.  The 105 acre Oddfellows Tract, adjacent to Wm. B. Umstead State Park, was acquired for a runway but never built.  The property is heavily forested, supporting a variety of wildlife, with associated environmental benefits.

Long term leasing of the Oddfellows Tract for a quarry serves no aviation purpose and allows a private company to deplete public land of its mineral resource and value, leaving the next generation of Triangle residents to deal with a massive hole and associated liabilities.

The Conservation Fund offered to purchase the Oddfellows Tract for market value and combine it with Wm. B. Umstead State Park.  If RDU’s decision is simply financial, the Wake Stone and Conservation Fund proposals are practically equal, and in the context of RDU's Vision 2040 Plan might only be a rounding error.

Our four local governments, Wake and Durham Counties, and the Cities of Raleigh and Durham, authorized the Odd Fellows Tract purchase grant for an aviation use and have an obligation to consider the issue, incorporating broader public participation in deciding the the value of conserving our area’s natural public lands.

PLEASE contact your local officials ASAP to tell them NO to a new quarry on RDU property!

Wake Stone's recent proposal is nothing more than a destruction of our Public Lands. Triangle Business Journal (TBJ) wrote an article Nov 26 2018 describing Wake Stone Corporation's proposal for a new quarry pit.  Wake Stone calls it a "Compromise."  We do NOT see any such thing!  While we appreciate TBJ covering this important issue, the poll paints an overly optimistic picture of the "compromise," and doesn't clearly articulate the downsides, nor the alternative of preserving the land.  Wake Stone Corporation graphics depict a fantasy of what it "might" look like in 35 years. By our our expert evaluation, these are unrealistic. 

And if you'd like to dig deeper,  here's a writeup we did on why we think a new quarry pit is the wrong choice for the future of the Triangle.

Sign the Petition

We have more than 12,000 signatures, but the more the better!  Be counted and show how important this is to the community.


Sign the Petition

Contact the Decision Makers

Call and email your county and city elected officials and the RDU Airport Authority Board.

Please be positive and respectful in your communications. Many of these decision makers want to see a win-win for the airport and the community.  But there are real hurdles and regulations that must be navigated, and it will require bold action - let them know you support this better vision. Let them know how important it is to have these centrally located, convenient trails. Let them know what a valuable asset a trail center and IMBA ride center would be, both for the residents and businesses in our community. And personal stories are always a nice touch.

The RDU International Airport is governed by the RDU Airport Authority board. Those board members are appointed by Durham County, Wake County, the City of Raleigh, and the City of Durham.  Contact your local city council and county commissioners and let them know you support our efforts.

Wake County:

Raleigh City Council members:

Durham County Commissioners:

Durham City Council Members:


Background and Overview of Concepts:

Counterpoints to Wake Stone Corporation's request to put a new rock quarry on the Odd Fellows Track:

Quarry Counterpoints by TORC and Umstead Coalition November 13 2018.pdf

Natalie Lew makes a great point: RDU’s Vision 2040 Should Compliment Wake County’s Destination 2028 Plan_2018 11 29, by Natalie Lew.pdf

Wake County's Destination Plan:

Our Solution: 

Concept maps: Concept Maps_RDU Forest 8-9-17.pdf

Concept portfolio document, highlighting case for the RDU Forest Trial Center: RDU Forest Enhancement Concepts.pdf

Logos of support organizations (PLEASE help us ADD to these!): RDU Forest Supporter logos.jpg

Powerpoint highlighting case for the RDU Forest Trail Center: Sierra Club-Capital Group July 19 2018 ppt 3.pdf

RDU Forest-May17 2017.pdf

October 2, 2017 Resolution to Preserve the Odd Fellow Tract, Wake County Commissioners

UNC School of Government - DFI Feasibility Analysis (requested and funded by the Wake County Commissioners): DFI REPORT Feasibility Analysis 2017-09-27.pdf

More information:
The Umstead Coalition is dedicated to the appreciation, use, and preservation of the William B. Umstead State Park and the Richland Creek Natural Area.
The Umstead Coalition, PO Box 10654, Raleigh, NC  27605 (919) 852-2268   
e-mail  info{@}    Twitter @UmstdCoalition
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