Rep. Waddell: Forestry Museum in House budget “for now” - WECT TV6-WECT.com:News, weather & sports Wilmington, NC

Rep. Waddell: Forestry Museum in House budget "for now"

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The Senate’s snub came as museum leaders were quietly charting a new path for the museum. The Senate’s snub came as museum leaders were quietly charting a new path for the museum.
The museum was on the chopping block last year despite having just undergone a $2 million renovation. The museum was on the chopping block last year despite having just undergone a $2 million renovation.
WHITEVILLE, NC (WECT) -

Rep. Ken Waddell (D) was hopeful Tuesday the State House would continue funding the N.C. Museum of Forestry, which was left out of the Senate budget that passed over the weekend.

"It is in the House budget for now," Waddell wrote in a text message. "Will have more details later."

The Senate's snub came as leaders of the Whiteville museum were quietly charting a new path.

The Friends of the Museum had endorsed a plan to move away from a forestry theme and to become a prototype outreach center of their parent organization, the N.C. Museum of Natural Sciences in Raleigh.

"It became apparent that we sort of had to relinquish what we had spent many years on in order that the museum could survive and be useful in the community," said Butch Blanchard, a forester who heads Friends of the Museum.

Budget battles are nothing new for the museum, which was on the chopping block last year despite having just undergone a $2 million renovation.

"Well, you count voters if you want to be just political about it," Blanchard said. "And the votes are in the larger, concentrated cities."

Jonathan Pishney, communications director at the Museum of Natural Sciences, said staff in Raleigh are working to continue funding.

"We support the governor's budget and, where the Senate budget differs from the administration's, we will work with the General Assembly to understand where they're coming from and offer any additional information and concerns we have," Pishney said.

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