UA drops Pine Tree Research Station land sale
JONESBORO, Ark. (KAIT) - The University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture announced Tuesday it will not sell the Pine Tree Research Station.
The decision comes just days after KAIT reported UA’s plan to sell the land to Lobo Farms of Fisher for $16.5 million despite protests and legislative action.
Nate Hinkel, a spokesperson for the University of Arkansas System, told Arkansas Business the Division of Agriculture and the prospective buyers “mutually agreed to terminate the contract for the sale of the property.”
Earlier this year, the state senate approved HB1694 prohibiting UA from selling Pine Tree property to a private entity or individual after hunters protested the sale. The property is one of the only public hunting areas in Northeast Arkansas.
UA planned to use $5 million of the sale’s proceeds to help pay for the Northeast Rice Research & Extension Center south of Jonesboro.
“While we are ready to move on from this contentious matter, we are disappointed in losing the $17 million in vital funding the sale would have provided to the Division for rice research, as well as critical and deferred maintenance needs across the state,” Hinkel was quoted as saying in a statement.
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