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The Umstead Coalition 
Celebrating Umstead State Park since 1934!


  • 06/10/2021 2:58 PM | Anonymous

    The Neuse River waterdog salamander has been documented in the past in Crabtree Creek within William B. Umstead State Park. In March 2021, a NCDOT contractor documented it in Crabtree Creek just downstream of our Park. We have every reason to believe it still lives in Umstead. 

    The Neuse River waterdog salamander is highly susceptible to sediments pollutants in the stream. We need to stop the sediment loading from the existing Triangle Quarry, protect the fragile streambanks along Crabtree Creek and not allow the extreme reduction in stream buffers being proposed by Wake Stone. The Mining Permit Application must be denied.

    Read more in this article written by Lisa Sorg, NC Policy Watch: North Carolina has a newly designated endangered species, which is nothing to be proud of

  • 05/06/2021 12:38 PM | Jean Spooner (Administrator)

    NC Department of Environmental Quality-Division of Water Resources (DEQ-DWR) approved the Neuse River Buffer Authorization Application submitted by the RDUAA staff in October, 2020.  The Odd Fellows Tract is not included, and some restrictions were added, but it's still a tragedy if moved forward by the RDUAA Board.  Note: this application was entirely on staff initiative - not initiated, nor approved (yet) by the RDUAA Board. 

    Download DEQ Approval letter, May 4, 2021

    Download NC State Park's letter asking for denial of Application, January 25, 2021

    Statement by Dr. Jean Spooner, Chair, The Umstead Coalition, dated May 5, 2021:

    The proposal by RDUAA staff to deforest a wide swath and install a chain-link fence topped with 3 rows of barbed wire (similar specifications used for high voltage power sub-stations and correctional facilities) along the environmentally sensitive boundary of William B. Umstead State Park and the East Coast Greenway along Old Reedy Creek Road is an embarrassment and insult to our community and William B Umstead State Park. And, would result in grave environmental damage to our State Park.

    DEQ-DWR should have followed the Neuse Buffer Rules (the law) and denied this authorization request to destroy and harm our streams and wetlands flowing into William B. Umstead State Park.  The Neuse Buffer Rules require that RDUAA must first AVOID stream and wetland impacts to the maximum extent possible, and then minimize any unavoidable impacts, as well as provide sufficient Best Management Practices to protect our streams and tributaries. Viable alternatives exist - NC State Parks opposed this fence and offered alternatives. In addition, absolutely, no stream crossing protections are proposed to protect the streams and wetlands: no bridges,  no culverts, nothing.

    To add to this insult, RDUAA fence proposal plans to sever one of the most popular trails in the Region and the East Coast Greenway by putting the fence across Umstead State Park's Reedy Creek Multi-use Trail.  This trail is popular with commuters and recreational users and serves as a regional connection to Cary's Black Creek Greenway, Morrisville's Crabtree Creek Greenway, Raleigh's Reedy Creek/House Creek Greenways, the American Tobacco Trail, and the planned Triangle Bikeway along I-40.  Reedy Creek multi-use trail is built upon the historic road beds and has been a State Park trail since 1934 in the same location.  Shameful.

    The proposed fence is an unnecessary boondoggle and mis-use of RDUAA funds. There is already a security fence perimeter that protects the runways, terminals, and parking areas.   Furthermore, it has not been initiated, nor approved by the RDUAA Board. 

    In contrast, the Baltimore Washington International Airport (BWI) has and promotes a publicly accessible bike trail along its airport perimeter (BWI Trail) which provides a community recreational asset, a transportation connection to the Baltimore-Annapolis Trail and the airport, and provides parking revenues for the airport.  That is the type of community and partnering relationship that RDUAA should engage with the community and its four owning governments of the Counties of Wake and Durham and the Cities of Raleigh and Durham.

    RDUAA should strive to find collaborative opportunities with its owners, NC State Parks, and the community. This is sadly the opposite.  We request that the RDUAA Board put an end to this extreme blow to the airport's community relations.

    Dr. Jean Spooner, Chair, The Umstead Coalition

  • 03/11/2021 3:15 PM | Anonymous

    View below for the Umstead Coalition's Public Hearing Comments on the FY21-22 RDUAA Budget submitted on March 11, 2021.

    To: Raleigh-Durham Airport Authority (RDUAA) Board Members

    Re: 2021-2022 RDUAA Budget, Public Hearing Public Comments

    Thank you for representing our community on the RDUAA Board and your service to improve the Raleigh-Durham International Airport as a vital partner. Your consideration of Public Comments regarding the draft Budget in advance of Board approval is appreciated.

    The Umstead Coalition is focused upon serving and protecting William B. Umstead State Park. William B. Umstead State Park was established in 1934 and is one of most visited NC State Parks, many of which access the Park via the Old Reedy Creek Road Recreational corridor that connects Lake Crabtree County Park to William B. Umstead State Park. Like the airport, William B. Umstead State Park is a great community asset.

    William B. Umstead State Park and the Raleigh-Durham International Airport share 6.2 miles of common boundary. Storm water from the entire airport drains directly or indirectly (through Brier Creek and Lake Crabtree) into William B. Umstead State Park. The extent of our shared property boundary and environmental sensitive issues has sometimes caused controversy, but also can and has led to opportunities.

    When all the stakeholders have worked together in the past, the airport, the Park, and its connected Parks and greenways have thrived. That enables an environment that attracts and retains employers, employees, and visitors, which in turn lends to an enhanced economic environment for our communities to grow and prosper.

    Please accept these Public Comments in the vein of trying to improve the airport and its ability to be a good neighbor and community partner. Please consider the following suggestions in your deliberations of your budget decisions. 

    View a PDF of the Umstead Coalition's full public comments to RDUAA>>

  • 02/23/2021 7:18 PM | Anonymous

    Download a PDF of NC Division of Parks and Recreation's letter to NC DEQ/Division of Energy, Mineral & Land Resources

    February 12, 2021

    Brian Wrenn, Director NC DEQ/Division of Energy, Mineral & Land Resources Via email:

    Re: Expand Wake Stone Triangle Quarry, Odd Fellows Tract adjacent to William B. Umstead State Park, Raleigh, Wake County, GS 20-0841

    Dear Mr. Wrenn:

    After further evaluation of the permit modification, the Division of Parks and Recreation (DPR) requests that the Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) deny the permit modification based on its significant negative impacts on Umstead State Park and other publicly owned greenways adjacent to the park, as allowed by N.C. Gen. Stat. § 74-51(d)(5) (allowing denial of a permit upon finding “[t]hat the operation will have a significantly adverse effect on the purposes of a publicly owned park, forest or recreation area”). This conclusion is consistent with the 1980 denial of the mining permit application by the then Department of Natural Resources and Community Development (NRCD) due to the proposed combined effects to the park of noise, sedimentation, dust, traffic, and blasting vibrations associated with the then-proposed quarry.

    Our May 8, 2020 letter on this topic details much of our rationale for requesting denial of the permit modification. The issues are summarized below and include noise, sedimentation and water quality, dust and air quality, traffic, habitat loss, blasting vibrations, and park expansion. DPR does not believe mitigation efforts could eliminate these concerns. In addition to the significant negative effects discussed in that letter and below, the delayed closure of the existing quarry and potential transfer of the property to the park would represent a significant economic cost to DPR. Renewing the permit and preventing transfer denies DPR and the State this valuable property in the middle of a rapidly growing metropolitan area.

    DPR asks that DEQ also consider the many changes since the initial permit approval almost 40 years ago, including increased demand for outdoor recreation, construction of additional greenways adjacent to the park, and loss of habitat through increased urbanization in the vicinity of the park. DPR believes denial of the permit will greatly benefit Umstead Park and protect the natural resources of the State and the citizens who gain enjoyment from these resources.

    Noise Impacts

    As visitors come to a state park, there is an expectation of tranquility and quiet not afforded them where they live, even at a more urban park like Umstead Park. Additional noise from the proposed quarry expansion site will degrade this tranquility to a level that would harm park visitors’ experiences.

    Sedimentation/Water Quality

    Increased sedimentation from the proposed quarry will harm the downstream water quality of Crabtree Creek in the park. Sand and finer grained sediments, including silts and clays, degrade stream habitats, and can reduce sunlight and harm aquatic plant and animal species. The extent of sedimentation in a stream is one of the significant indicators of diversity of macroinvertebrates which are an indicator of stream health.

    Dust/Air Quality

    Dust and fine particles degrade air quality, potentially damaging public health. DPR is concerned that the cumulative impacts on air quality from the new quarry have not been adequately assessed. Deforestation and the heavy machinery that would be used in the proposed quarry expansion will negatively impact air quality in the region. As the park and connecting greenways have become more popular there is a concern that blasting dust and other airborne pollutants from traffic and mining operations will harm the health of many park users.

    Truck Traffic

    Umstead Park shares an entrance with the current Wake Stone quarry off the Harrison Avenue access to the park. This location is a primary entrance location for the park and would also continue to serve as the primary location of trucks entering and leaving the quarry. Over the years there have been several challenges associated with the shared access point. Truck traffic is constant when the quarry is operating and has resulted in conflicts with visitors, especially those biking into the park. Trucks leaving the quarry often cross the center line due to the tight turning radius, posing a safety issue. In addition, truck traffic is likely to increase at this already crowded intersection, exacerbating safety issues, as timber is removed from the site, the bridge is built, and associated quarry activities at the new site ramp up.


    In addition to the noise impacts from blasting previously discussed, blasting vibrations could also negatively affect both park visitors and facilities. Significant vibrations could mar the very peace and quiet that visitors come to Umstead Park to experience, and each year many thousands of people enjoy the Reedy Creek Multi-Use Trail adjacent to the proposed site. Vibrations could also damage buildings including park staff residences. These problems will have an adverse impact on the park.

    Loss of Wildlife Corridors

    Habitat loss and fragmentation is the largest contributor to biodiversity loss on the planet. The proposed permit modification would permanently fragment healthy wildlife habitat directly on the park’s border.

    Park Expansion

    Because population growth in the Triangle region and visitation to Umstead State Park are rapidly increasing, the park’s master plan calls for expansion of the park through land acquisition. Approval of the permit modification will cause a significant delay, by 30 years or more, in the potential transfer of the existing quarry property to the park, which would limit the park’s ability to meet increased public demand in the meantime.

    In conclusion, approval of a permit to expand the quarry will degrade Umstead State Park and represent a significant lost opportunity for the park, our Division, and the natural resources of our State. The North Carolina Division of Parks and Recreation requests that Department of Environmental Quality deny the modification.

    DPR appreciates the opportunity to provide these comments on the proposed permit modification. Thank you for your consideration.


    Dwayne Patterson, Director North Carolina Division of Parks and Recreation

    cc: Reid Wilson, Secretary, NCDNCR Brian Strong, Deputy Director of Planning and Natural Resources, DPR John Nicholson, Chief Deputy Secretary, DEQ Sheila Holman, Assistant Secretary for Environment, DEQ

    Download a PDF of the letter>>

  • 02/10/2021 5:49 PM | Anonymous

    Deny Proposed New Quarry Pit, Restore Undisturbed Buffers and Sunset Clause

    WHEREAS, On August 22, 1980. DEQ (then NRCD) denied an Application for a new Mining Permit based upon “the proposed quarry operation would have an adverse effect upon the purposes of a publicly owned park, forest, or recreational area. The combined effects of noise, sedimentation, dust, traffic and blasting vibration associated with the proposed quarry operation would produce primary impacts on William B. Umstead State Park in the form of noise intrusion and deterioration of visual resources."; and

    WHEREAS, the industry-friendly Mining Commission overruled DEQ’s Decision (January 27 and April 3, 1981) , ordering the permit be issued with protections for William B Umstead State Park including “Permanent” buffers; and

    WHEREAS, between January 27, 1981 and May 13, 1981, DEQ (NC Divisions of Land Resources and Parks and Recreation) worked hard either increase protections for William B.

    Umstead State Park or, if not obtained, planned to appeal the Mining Commission’s overruling of DEQ’s decision to the Courts; and

    WHEREAS, on May 13, 1981 after State Agencies worked hard to add permanent, undisturbed buffer and a 50 year Sunset Clause conditions into the Permit, the first Mining Permit 92-10 (Triangle Quarry) was issued by DEQ; and

    WHEREAS, the original Mining Permit was accepted without objection by Wake Stone, as were its Renewals and Modifications issued on May 13, 1981; April 15, 1986; April 1, 1991; February 5, 1992; October 11, 1996; April 20, 2001; November 24, 2010; March 20, 2011 and December 1, 2017 all contained a 50-year Sunset Clause in the “Reclamation Conditions”: “5.B.If all quarryable stone is not removed, the right of the State to acquire the quarry site shall accrue at the end of 50 years from the date quarrying commences or 10 years after quarrying operations have ceased without having been resumed, whichever is sooner, and notices shall be exchanged at that time in the same manner and with the same time limitations as set forth in paragraph A above.”; and

    WHEREAS, the 50-year Sunset Clause served as a basis for the State Park planning for future Park land acquisition for the purposes of conservation and recreation, key missions of the NC Parks system; and

    WHEREAS, 92-10 Mining permits through 2017 have all measured the stream buffer from top of Crabtree Creek bank with undisturbed, forested buffers; and

    WHEREAS, all of the nine Mining Permits issued during the almost 37 years from May 13, 1981 to December 1, 2017 were accepted by the private mining company without objection; and

    WHEREAS, the buffers along the western quarry boundary along Crabtree Creek proved insufficient and in 1992 the quarry operations blasting caused a massive streambank failure and filled in 90 percent of Crabtree Creek. The streambank remains devoid of sufficient vegetation through today; and

    WHEREAS, on March 28, 2018 a permit Modification was issued to reduce the buffer widths and expand the quarry area to be disturbed by shifting the protected buffers from top of bank to center of the stream;

    WHEREAS, William B. Umstead State Park visitors routinely observe sediment-laden discharge from the existing quarry operations into the Park’s forest and directly into Crabtree Creek; and

    WHEREAS, since 1982, there have been numerous complaints about dust, noise, water quality, dead trees, truck conflicts from NC Division of Parks and Recreation staff and the public. Many ignored. The adverse impacts continue.

    WHEREAS, from 1982 to the present, the current quarry operation has repeatedly violated the protective buffers by unauthorized deforestation, massive streambank failure along Crabtree Creek, diversion of sediment-laden waters into William B. Umstead State Park, changing water hydrology within William B. Umstead State Park, and killing of Park trees.

    WHEREAS, the March 28, 2018 Permit changes made at the request of the private mining company including removal of the Sunset Clause by changing “sooner” to “later”, which completes the removal or reduction of all the hard won protections that Wake Stone agreed to with the 1981 and subsequent permits; and

    WHEREAS, the March 28, 2018 Permit changes substantially and dramatically reduced the protective buffer widths by moving the buffers from the top-of-bank to the centerline of Crabtree Creek. The same Permit Modification removed the protective language within the permit narrative, instead shifting to the site plan supplied by the private company; and

    WHEREAS, the affected State Agency of the NC Division of Parks and Recreation was not informed or consulted of the requested changes that removed the Park protections of the Sunset Clause and substantially decreased the protective buffers in the March 28, 2018 Permit Modifications; and

    WHEREAS, the Permit Modifications on March 28, 2018 removed almost all the hard-fought protections for William B. Umstead State Park; and

    WHEREAS, on April 7, 2020, the private mining company submitted a Mining Permit Modification Application to increase the footprint of the existing quarry site by further reducing the protective buffers by again decreasing their width and converted the buffers to “unexcavated” buffers (which allow deforestation, fencing, pit perimeter roads, stockpiling, crushers, conveyor systems, etc. – everything just short of excavating a mining pit); and

    WHEREAS, the proposed Permit Modifications submitted on April 7, 2020 proposes to expand the current pit perimeter and increase the depth of the current mine an additional 150 feet to a total depth of -170MSL (170 feet below sea level); and

    WHEREAS, on April 7, 2020, the private mining company submitted a Mining Permit Modification Application to “expand” the quarry operations with a new rock mine on the other side of Crabtree Creek on a 105 acres tract knows as the Odd Fellows Tract; and

    WHEREAS, the proposed Permit Modifications submitted on April 7, 2020 proposes a new massive 60ft wide (4-lane) bridge over Crabtree Creek just upstream of William B. Umstead State Park to carry many noisy, dusty trucks from the proposed new pit to the processing area of the existing quarry operations; and

    WHEREAS, the proposed Permit Modifications only includes twenty (25) foot wide undisturbed buffers along William B. Umstead State Park and the minimal Neuse Buffers along the steep slopes of Crabtree Creek. The top of pit would be only 100 feet from William B. Umstead State Park and Crabtree Creek. The pit perimeter road, sediment erosion control, grading would occur as close as 25 feet of Umstead State Park - the public would not consider such a narrow slice as any meaningful “buffer”; and

    WHEREAS, the Mining Permit Modification Application is incomplete and asks the Agency reviewers to ignore an adjacent 17.2 acre “Future Reserves” area, which elsewhere is included in the submitted Reclamation Plan, the private companies web site and marketing information, and other figures in the Application. Furthermore, the private company includes this area within the requested permit “expansion” boundary – an obvious attempt to avoid the required agency review and public comments; and

    WHEREAS, the Odd Fellows tract is public property with vested, deeded ownership of the Cities of Raleigh and Durham and Counties of Wake and Durham, managed by the Raleigh Durham Airport Authority; and

    WHEREAS, the Odd Fellows tract is bounded by William B. Umstead State Park, Crabtree Creek, the Old Reedy Creek Road Recreational corridor and I-40; and

    WHEREAS, the Old Reedy Creek Road recreational corridor is heavily used by runners, walkers, bikers, families, and nature lovers; and

    WHEREAS, the Old Reedy Creek Road recreational corridor is a portion of Carolina Connection Bikeway, East Coast Greenway, and extremely popular gateway between Cary’s Black Creek Greenway Trail (which connects to the American Tobacco Trail), Wake County’s Lake Crabtree County Park, and Cary’s Black Creek Greenway trail head parking lot connection to William B. Umstead State Park; and

    WHEREAS, all of the drainage area from the Odd Fellows Tract flows into William B. Umstead State P ark directly or via Crabtree Creek; and

    WHEREAS, on May 8, 2020, The, NC Department of Natural and Cultural Resources- NC Division of Parks and Recreation (NCR DPR) submitted a letter to the NC Department of Environmental Quality -NC Division of Energy, Minerals, and Land Resources (DEQ-DEMLR) listing significant concerns regarding the proposed Mining Permit Application including: noise, sedimentation and water quality, dust and air quality, traffic, habitat loss, blasting vibrations, and loss of park expansion; and

    WHEREAS, the Mission and Purpose of the NC Division of Parks and Recreation is Conservation, Recreation, and Education; and

    WHEREAS: the Odd Fellows Track is identified as “critical acres” in the Land Protection Plan of William B. Umstead State Park; and

    WHEREAS, on June and July, 2020 DEQ-DEMLR held two Virtual Public Hearing and received approximately 2,000 public comments opposing the substantial reductions in Park protection on the current quarry site and the proposed new quarry site on the other side of Crabtree Creek on the Odd Fellows Tract; and

    WHEREAS, the public comments indicated a massive outcry regarding the damaging issues with the current quarry operations including: noise, conflict with the 500 plus quarry trucks/day competing with Park visitors at our Park entrance, dust, air quality issues, water quality issues, loss of protective buffers, buffer violations and the current flooding of park lands resulting in the killing of Park trees; and

    WHEREAS, a new rock mine pit on the Odd Fellows tract would start a bad precedent in North Carolina allowing a private rock mine on public property in NC and this one adjacent to William B. Umstead State Park; and

    WHEREAS, a new rock mine pit on the Odd Fellows tract would only leave a narrow width of the Neuse River buffers along the steep slopes of Crabtree Creek just upstream of William B. Umstead State Park; and much of those buffers are proposed to be taken up with a fence, deforestation, bridge, sediment control structures; and

    WHEREAS, the proposed narrow riparian buffers on both sides of Crabtree Creek would leave an artificially narrow “aqueduct” and elevated Crabtree Creek above two quarry pits, each deeper than 400 feet. In exactly the same area Wake Stone already blew out a much larger buffer in 1992, destroying all natural vegetation in the buffer and blocking 90% of the stream, and

    WHEREAS, there is no independent engineering analysis ensuring the future integrity of Crabtree Creek with the proposed deep pits on both sides of Crabtree Creek and minimal stream buffers; and

    WHEREAS, a new rock mine pit on the Odd Fellows tract would sever the last remaining habitat corridor connecting Jordan Lake to the east through William B. Umstead State Park; and

    WHEREAS, a new rock mine pit on the Odd Fellows tract would eliminate a large forested recharge area for Crabtree Creek and decrease base flow; and

    WHEREAS, the Umstead Coalition’s mission includes “preserving the natural integrity of William B. Umstead State Park”; and

    WHEREAS, the Sierra Club advocates for environmental protection; and was opposed to the 1980 request, and was assured by the promised protections of the original permit that have now  been violated or removed, and

    WHEREAS, The existing Quarry has already had significant adverse effects on William B. Umstead State Park, and the proposed expansion will significantly reduce the protections on both the existing and expanded pits, it is reasonable to conclude the additional significantly adverse effects will grow due to the significantly fewer protections,

    NOW, THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that The Umstead Coalition and Sierra Club Capital

    Group request DEQ-DEMLR DENY the proposed Mining Permit for a new mine on the Odd

    Fellows Site because “the proposed new quarry operations would have an significant adverse effect upon the purposes of a publicly owned park, forest, or recreational area” including

    William B. Umstead State Park and it’s connected recreational corridors (per G.S. Chapter 74- Article 7, 74-51(d) of the 1971 Mining Act); and

    NOW, THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the The Umstead Coalition and Sierra Club Capital Group request DEQ-DEMLR reinstate the 2010 Mining Permit conditions on the existing quarry operations to restore the committed undisturbed buffers, measured from top of bank, along Crabtree Creek and William B. Umstead State Park; and

    NOW, THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that The Umstead Coalition and Sierra Club Capital

    Group request that DEQ-DEMLR reinstate the 50-year sunset clause with “sooner” in the Reclamation Conditions of the Mining Permit 92-10.

    Signed: February 7, 2021 Dr. Jean Spooner, Chair The Umstead Coalition

    Signed: February 7, 2021 Hwa Huang, Chair Capital Group, Sierra Club

    Download a PDF of the Resolution>>

  • 02/05/2021 8:06 PM | Anonymous

    Join the Umstead Coalition and Senator Wiley Nickel for an informational Town Hall on the proposed RDU Quarry on Wednesday, February 10th, at 6pm.


    6pm-6:30pm: Start & presentation by Dr. Jean Spooner, The Umstead Coalition

    6:30-6:40pm: Senator Wiley Nickel speaks

    6:40-7pm: Q&A

  • 01/12/2021 7:46 PM | Anonymous

    Research of Public Records (State Archives, Wake County Commissioners) has revealed strong evidence  that the original permit was correct; the Director Conrad of NC Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ-Mining) did not make a "mistake" in the original 1981 Wake Sone Mining Permit 92-10; the Sunset Clause was correct and should be instated.

    The Honorable Rufus Edmisten, Attorney General in 1980-81 issued a statement on January 12, 2021 that confirms that the 1981 Permit with the Sunset Clause "speaks for itself" and that the Sunset Clause of "sooner" is correct. 

    Read Honorable Rufus Edmisten's statement>>

  • 12/30/2020 7:50 PM | Anonymous

    In July 2020, DEQ denied the Raleigh Durham Airport Authority’s (RDUAA’s) request for a Neuse Buffer permit for a new, unneeded fence. Now RDUAA is trying again to build their unnecessary fence! Please take action to prevent it (see below for link to send your email).

    Tragically, RDUAA recently resubmitted their request to the NC Division of Environmental Quality (DEQ) to cross streams and wetlands with a chain-linked, barbed-wire fence, including 30ft of deforested swath along the border of William B. Umstead State Park and the crossings of Haley’s Branch. They still plan a patrol road along the fence. Insultingly, RDUAA still proposes to cut-off access to the popular Old Reedy Creek Multi-use Trail within Umstead State Park (and the East Coast Greenway and US1 Bike Route) by building this fence across the trail! DEQ denied the first time, DEQ should deny again. 

    Please use the link below to write an email asking DEQ to uphold denial of RDU Airport's fence proposal in order to protect not only the Umstead State Park, but also the Neuse River Buffer's streams and wetlands. Ask them to withdraw this request; it's an environmental tragedy. We’ve made an easy way to write one email and have it sent to RDUAA and local elected officials. 

    Submit your comments now>>

  • 12/15/2020 9:16 PM | Anonymous

    We are disappointed at the Appeals Court decision released December 15, 2020, upholding the lower court’s ruling that RDUAA was allowed to enter into a mining lease with Wake Stone Corporation, for the forested Oddfellows Tract. We are evaluating our appeal before the State Supreme Court. 

    We disagree; we think that the RDUAA exceeded their authority. We believe RDUAA should have sought concurrence from their four local government owners prior to selling property for a quarry unrelated to airport operations, destroying dwindling old growth forests on public lands, creating a perpetual public liability for the 400’+ deep pit once the resources have been exhausted, and more.

    This ruling in no way affects other efforts to preserve the site for recreation that has been on NC Park’s acquisition plan for years, based on Wake Stone’s promise to cease all mining by 2031.  Wake Stone agreed to this provision to overcome denial of their original permit for the quarry on land they own on the other side of Crabtree Creek; however, they recently convinced DEQ staff to renege on this 37 year commitment to change one word in the Sunset Clause rendering it useless. We content that was an invalid permit change for the existing quarry on the other side of Crabtree Creek.

    In a key part of the December 15, 2020 Appeals Court ruling, the Appeals Court ruled in our favor, confirmed that the adjacent residents have standing, and would be harmed by the proposed new quarry pit.  This in itself is grounds for the NC Department of Quality (DEQ) to deny the Mining Permit.

    Wake Stone has so far not obtained approval for their mining permit (we believe it should be denied), RDUAA was denied an application to install over 8 miles of high security fencing, and The Umstead Coalition is appealing DEQ’s Neuse Buffer permit to build a bridge across Crabtree Creek wide enough for a 5 lane road. YES, 66 feet wide bridge across Crabtree Creek as wide as I-40 just upstream of William B. Umstead State Park!  We expect our appeal to be heard in January.

    Approximately 2,000 public comments have been received by DEQ opposing the Mining Permit.  Strong evidence has been presented that the proposed new quarry would harm William B. Umstead State Park, the Old Reedy Creek Recreational corridor, private homes, wildlife habitat, water quality and air quality.  All solid grounds for permit DENIAL.

    Unbelievably, RDUAA has reapplied for their fence Neuse River Buffer permit!  And again proposed to sever the popular Reedy Creek Multi-use in William B. Umstead!!  The Umstead Coalition has recommended denial due failure to justify the impacts to the streams and wetlands.

    Thanks to all who are continuing to let DEQ and your local officials know that the public is OPPOSED to the proposed new mining pit on the Odd Fellows Tract.  The good fight continues.

  • 12/15/2020 5:51 AM | Anonymous

    The Umstead Coalition’s annual membership drive has begun!  If you’re already a member, now is the perfect time to renew.  If you’re not currently a member, please consider joining us.

    Last year, membership dollars helped The Umstead Coalition to install solar panels at the Visitors’ Center, plant several new gardens, fund environmental education and Ranger programs, and continue our fight against attempts to expand the Wake Stone quarry.  Your membership dues will help us continue our efforts to preserve the natural integrity of William B. Umstead State Park.

    Membership (Individual or Household): $15.00

    To renew by mail, please send your check, payable to The Umstead Coalition, to the address below. Please include your return address with your check.

    The Umstead Coalition

    P.O. Box 10654

    Raleigh, NC 27605

    100% of your donations go directly to help William B. Umstead State Park and are tax deductible.  Thank you for supporting William B. Umstead State Park!

    Join or renew renew your membership now.

The Umstead Coalition

We are dedicated to preserving the natural integrity of William B. Umstead State Park and the Richland Creek Corridor.


The Umstead Coalition is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.