install.packages('sf') fails because it can't find proj_api.h or proj.h


I'm a fair newbie to installing libraries in R and Rstudio, so I may need more help that normal.

This is on a iMac20,1 running Big Sur, RStudio 1.4.1717, R version 4.1.2.

I'm trying to install the 'sf' library. It's failing because it can't find proj_api.h and proj.h.

I'm using MacPorts for various other bits needed by sf. In the current version of proj (proj8), the proj_api.h file has been removed. The previous version (proj7) has it. I've installed that version and verified that the two header files live in /opt/local/lib/proj7.

But the R installer can't find them. Is there a way I can tell it to look in /opt/local/lib/proj7.

This is what the installer prints out before it fails.

checking proj.h usability... no
checking proj.h presence... no
checking for proj.h... no
checking proj_api.h usability... no
checking proj_api.h presence... no
checking for proj_api.h... no
configure: error: proj_api.h not found in standard or given locations.
ERROR: configuration failed for package ‘sf’

See this thread.

How does one tell install.packages() to install a binary package other than the most current?

When you see a message that a binary version is available but the source version is later, respond no.

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