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Forested recreation in the heart of the Triangle 

Stop RDU Quarry

November 13, 2023 - DEQ-Mining, Toby Vinson, and Wake Stone reached a closed-door Settlement Agreement that reverses the previous Director's Mining Permit Denial for RDU Quarry. Contact Attorney General Josh Stein & Governor Cooper and ask them not to approve the Settlement. Act now>>

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

    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.

    Charlie Morris  produced a short Explainer video (click on the graphic at right)  and a 1 hour documentary "400 Feet Down"

    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

    Wake Stone proposes a separate, approximately 400 foot deep pit on the other side of Crabtree Creek. Only 25feet set-back from Umstead State Park and the East Coast Greenway

    private quarry on public land

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


    1. Contact Governor Cooper

    The current Wake Stone quarry adjacent to Umstead State Park had their original Mining Permit 92‐10 approved in 1981 with a 50-year Sunset Clause. After 50 years, in 2031, Wake Stone was to donate the land to the State and all mining operations would cease. The Sunset Clause  promised to Umstead State Parks and the public and agreed to by Wake Stone Corporation  needs to be reinstated.  NC State Parks has asked Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) to give them back the Sunset Clause.  Please ask Governor Cooper to reinstate the Sunset Clause. Learn more and submit your comments now>>

    Governor Roy Cooper: Contact form or contactgov@nc.gov

    NC Office of the Governor
    20301 Mail Service Center
    Raleigh, NC 27699-0301

    2. Donate

    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.

    3. Contact Public Officials

    Local public officials have the power to stop the quarry and the fence. We've created talking points and an easy way for you to contact everyone at one time here. Submit your comments now>>

          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.  


          August 11, 2023
          • The OAH Judge van der Vaart overturned DEQ's denial.  The State has 30 days to Appeal

          February 17,  2022

          • The Director of the DEQ-NC Division of Energy, Minerals and Land Resources (DEQ-DEMLR, ask DEQ Mining) denied the Mining Permit Application
          • Wake Stone Appealed the denial to Office of Administrative Hearings (OAH).  

          December 2021

            • NC State Parks Once Again Sends Letter to NCDEQ-Mining and Opposes RDU Quarry. Read the letter>>

            November 2021

            • With your support, the Umstead Coalition contracted with a national blasting expert, Kenneth K. Eltschlager. His independent analysis confirmed what we suspected: significant adverse effects to William B. Umstead State Park, East Coast Greenway, and a private residence (and perhaps the Cary’s Water Reclamation Plant) are likely from blasting with a proposed new rock mine on the Odd Fellows Tract. Read the Adverse Effect Analysis Eltschlager submitted to DEQ-Mining here>>
            • Public comments about RDU Quarry can still be submitted to DEQ (copies to Governor Cooper and elected official using this link). Submit your comments now>>

            October 2021

            • Senator Wiley Nickel encourages Wake and Durham County residents to oppose the proposed RDU Quarry. Learn more>>

                  September 2021

                    • The Umstead Coalition wins a Key Appeal! Crabtree Creek Bridge “Permit” is Invalidated. The Judge reversed (invalidated) NC DEQ’s Decision to issue Neuse Buffer Authorization for Wake Stone Corporation’s proposed bridge over Crabtree Creek for proposed new mining pit. Read Administrative Law Judge Michael C. Byrne's Ruling here.

                    August 2021

                    • Wake Stone submitted new site plans to DEQ and we are very concerned  — and you should be too. The new site plans propose an even bigger mining pit and smaller protective buffers. Learn more>> 

                    June 2021

                      • Neuse River waterdog salamander now listed as "Threatened" by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. The salamander has been found in Crabtree Creek just downstream of Umstead State Park. Learn more>>
                      • ‘Sooner’ or ‘later’? Fate of Wake Stone quarry near Umstead State Park hinges on one word. Read the NC Policy Watch article>>

                      February 2021

                      • NC Division of Parks and Recreation (NC State Parks) asks for RDU Quarry Wake Stone Mining Permit Application to be Denied. Learn more>>

                      December 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.
                      • ·he 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>>

                        our SUPPORTERS

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

                        WHO WE ARE

                        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.