As the leading advocate for all North Carolina wildlife and its habitat the North Carolina Wildlife Federation, with the support of its affiliates and local wildlife chapters, works statewide for wildlife conservation, habitat protection and connecting people to nature.
Click here to view the official North Carolina Wildlife Federation Resolutions.
IMPLEMENTING THE NORTH CAROLINA WILDLIFE ACTION PLAN
North Carolina’s Wildlife Action Plan is a 577-page
document that details steps needed to be taken to conserve
371 priority species of birds, mammals, reptiles, amphibians,
fish, mollusks, and crustaceans. Produced by the N.C.
Wildlife Resources Commission, the plan charts the course
for the future of North Carolina wildlife. NCWF has
help our members connect with this far-reaching initiative,
and work to find hands-on projects that will help implement
the Wildlife Action Plan. This is a critical function
of our growing statewide network of NCWF chapters.
The North Carolina Teaming with Wildlife Coalition works to prevent wildlife from becoming endangered by securing full state and federal funding for the implementation of the North Carolina Wildlife Action Plan.
LAND AND WATER INVESTMENTS
North Carolina’s four conservation trust funds give essential support to land and water protection projects across our state, supporting our economy, keeping drinking water sources safe, creating parkland and public recreation sites, providing safe zones around military bases and training grounds, sustaining family farms, and safeguarding our unique natural heritage and quality of life. Click here to learn more about the trust funds and how we can ensure proper funding levels.
Climate change is negatively
impacting wildlife and habitat. NCWF, working
with volunteer leadership and in partnership with National Wildlife Federation
staff, focused efforts on Congress to pass comprehensive
legislation that will reduce America’s global
warming pollution by 80 percent by mid-century.
Throughout the year, presentations to hunter and
angler groups and NCWF chapters, along with Op-Ed
pieces in North Carolina newspapers, feature articles
in NCWF communications, and direct meetings with
state Congressional delegates were key efforts in our
comprehensive education campaign.
BE OUT THERE
Be Out There™ - the National Wildlife Federation's initiative to inspire families across America to open the door and get outside! A daily dose of the outdoors improves children’s physical, mental and emotional well-being. Join the Be Out There movement to get children outside, connecting to nature. The benefits of outdoor play are real: healthier kids with a life-long appreciation of wildlife and nature.
OUTLYING LANDING FIELD
Early in 2008, an
enormous campaign to preserve critical wildlife habitat
achieved its goal when the U.S. Navy announced
that it was abandoning plans to build an Outlying
Landing Field in Washington and Beaufort counties.
This massive project would have been located near
Pocosin Lakes National Wildlife Refuge, a critical fall
and winter sanctuary for migratory birds. Upwards
of 67,000 snow geese, nearly half of the world’s
population of tundra swans, and tens of thousands
of ducks rest and forage around 113,000 acres of
federally protected land.
NCWF fought long and hard and arm-in-arm with
other groups to save the world-class wildlands around
Pocosin Lakes. NCWF leaders traveled to eastern
North Carolina to join in the “Victory Celebration”
where the Federation’s leading role in judiciary, political,
and educational efforts were applauded. Local
leaders who led the charge against the Pocosin site
formed the Friends of Pocosin Lakes NWR. This
group became an affiliate of NCWF in 2008.
The OLF issue is not over as the Navy will consider
two new sites in North Carolina—Sandbanks in Gates
County and Hales Lake in Camden/Currituck counties
—and three in Virginia. Work to support local grassroots
efforts mobilizing in those regions will be a
key component in the Federation’s land stewardship
project in 2009.
The New Hanover County Commissioners offered $4.2 million in incentive funds to Titan Cement to build a huge cement plant on the Northeast Cape Fear River. The county had worked for three years to lure Titan to the banks of one of the Coastal Plain’s most pristine rivers. Few local residents knew of the plans.
What: A massive cement plant on the banks of the Northeast Cape Fear River, just upstream of Wilmington.
Where: At Castle Hayne, just off of Interstate 40 in New Hanover County. Here, Island Creek flows into the Northeast Cape Fear River just south of the Holly Shelter Game Land.
Who: Titan America LLC, a Greek company, which runs a subsidiary Carolinas Cement Company LLC.
- 1,868-acre site
- 160 jobs created
- 2.3 million tons of cement produced annually
- 1,263-acre new quarry
- 493 acres of wetlands impacted, including 214 acres in areas of environmental concern
- 85,000 tons of coal will be burned annually for the cement kiln. Cement plants are among the highest industrial emitters of mercury, and also emit sulfur dioxide and nitrogen dioxide, both of which contribute to acid rain and smog. The Northeast Cape Fear River is already listed in a N.C. Department of Health and Human Services warning to limit consumption of certain fish. The stretch of the river next to the plant also is on North Carolina’s List of Impaired Waters. Titan has also stated they may burn used tires as well. Burning tires emits dioxins, one of the most potent known human carcinogens.
- Three elementary schools are within a 5-mile radius of the proposed plant. Cement plants produce large quantities of particulate matter. New Hanover County’s newest
K-12 campus is only 1.6 miles away.
- Loopholes in the Clean Air Act lead to poor cement plant regulation. North Carolina ranks in the top ten states with the highest mercury releases. New Hanover County has been ranked with the sixth-highest mercury releases in the state.
What about the fish?
American eel - American shad - Atlantic sturgeon - blueback herring - hickory shad - shortnose sturgeon - striped bass
Seven of the nine diadromous fishes that are known to occur in the Cape Fear River drainage have been documented in the Northeast Cape Fear River and/or Island Creek by the Division of Marine Fisheries. The Northeast Cape Fear River has been designated a Primary Nursery Area by the N.C. Marine Fisheries Commission and both the river and Island Creek have been designated as Anadromous Fish Spawning Areas by the Marine Fisheries Commission and the Wildlife Resources Commission.
“The toxic emissions from this facility could pose substantial risk to the critical fisheries of (the Northeast) Cape Fear system by polluting the air, wetlands and waters that are critical to healthy fish stocks.” Draft letter from N.C. Marine Fisheries Commission to U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
ARTICLE: "Judge orders full environmental review for Titan" (www.starnewsonline.com, May 3, 2010)
ARTICLE: "Judge says Titan's air quality permit application can proceed" (www.starnewsonline.com, Jan. 4 2011)
Click here to view the NCWF resolution "OPPOSITION TO CAROLINA CEMENT COMPANY (TITAN CEMENT PLANT) – NORTHEAST CAPE FEAR RIVER"
PRIVATE LANDS FOR WILDLIFE
played a leading role in advocating for House Bill
1889, titled “Wildlife Land Property Tax Changes,”
which passed the General Assembly and was signed
into law in the summer of 2008. This new equitable tax
law, the priority of NCWF’s private lands work, will
help North Carolina landowners protect farms and
forestlands by giving a property tax break to landowners
who use these lands for conservation and wildlife
habitats. In the past, landowners who managed and
maintained their land to protect water quality, wildlife
habitat and open space paid higher market-value
taxes than landowners who were actively engaged in
commercial agriculture or forestry practices.
This legislation was NCWF’s top legislative priority
for 2008. Our lobbying and grassroots support played a crucial role in its passage after several years of
efforts. In addition to direct lobbying Camouflage
Coalition alerts honed in on rallying sportsmen support,
media releases, and news alerts.
North Carolina loses 100,000 acres of forests and
farmland annually. This initiative will keep more land
in the hands of farm and forest owners and protect
land for public benefits, including wildlife and water
quality. The Federation is extremely pleased with the
passage of this conservation option for landowners
and equally proud of its role in seeing it become
an important piece of the land conservation puzzle
in the state.
Taxation of Wildlife Conservation Land Classification (PDF)
NCWF has been advocating for the
U.S. Farm Bill to address critical agricultural program
needs and also make significant investments in, and
improvements for, natural resource conservation, rural
development, alternative/ renewable energy sources
research, best management practice implementation,
wetlands protection and wildlife habitat preservation.
Last May a new farm bill was passed that includes
over $4 billion for conservation programs in 2008.
Specifically, NCWF has been working to ensure
the Farm Bill has adequate funds for conservation
incentive programs such as the Wetlands Reserve
Program, Conservation Reserve Program, Wildlife
Habitats Incentive Program, Farmland Protection
Program, Grasslands Reserve Program and the Conservation
Security Program. All of these programs
benefit wildlife and its habitat and are important
for landowners who want to preserve and manage
their land for wildlife.
The new Farm Bill expands some very important
programs for landowners. Millions of acres of habitat
will be protected and access to recreational areas will increase. There are tax deductions to cover expenses
for endangered species recovery actions, help for
farmers and rural businesses to become more energy
efficient, help for existing biorefineries to switch to
using renewable biomass to power their operations,
and incentives for farmers to grow and transport fuels
for biomass energy.
Future Friendly Farming: Seven Agricultural Practices to Sustain People and the Environment (PDF)
Conservation Reserve Program Comments
miles of Wilson Creek will be protected from development
after its purchase by the Foothills Conservancy
of North Carolina. The North Carolina Wildlife Federation
worked diligently to shore up public support for
the famous mountain stream. The Foothills Conservancy
secured a contract with the Lutz Family Partnership
to purchase 649 acres along almost four miles
of the National Wild and Scenic stream in Caldwell
County for $7 million. Surrounded by Pisgah National
Forest, the land will be owned by the State of North
Carolina and managed by the Wildlife Resources
Commission. Funds for the purchase will come from
the Clean Water Management Trust Fund and the
Natural Heritage Trust Fund.
NCWF worked diligently in the 1990s to have these
state natural resource funds created (along with the
farmland preservation and state park trust funds) and
advocated in the General Assembly this session for
their full funding levels. The scenic tract will offer outstanding
public access to the world-class trout waters
of Wilson Creek, a favorite destination for anglers and
others drawn to the creek’s cold clear waters.
After two years of study
and public involvement, the U.S. Forest Service
reviewed alternatives for management of the federally
designated Wild and Scenic Chattooga River. Whitewater
paddling interests sought to open up the upper
portions for paddling access and use. NCWF worked
as part of the Friends of Upper Chattooga and provided
comments on the preferred alternative. NCWF’s
position supported no change in current management,
which would avoid any removal of woody debris habitat
and not open up access or increase water releases
for whitewater paddling. (NCWF has worked in support
of opening up other river areas for whitewater
paddling, including access for kayaks and preserving
Wild and Scenic rivers). NCWF rallied affiliates and
chapters to ensure a balance of user interests with
protection of the ecosystem.
UPDATE: After considering public comments, preparing responses to those comments and reviewing the final analysis, the Forest Service has selected Alternative 4. Boating will be allowed during December, January and February when the flow at Burrell’s Ford is above 450cfs (2.5 feet). No boating will be permitted between Burrell’s Ford and Highway 28 Bridge or in the North Fork tributaries.
Boating, using single/tandem hard boats, or canoes, and inflatable kayaks, will be allowed (no rafts, no commercial guiding and no commercial shuttles). The Forest Service plans to announce the available boating days in advance. The Forest Service set limits on boating group size to no more than six and no fewer than two people.
Click here for the Forest Service Press Release. (PDF)
NORTH SHORE ROAD
One of the most
significant threats to the Great Smoky Mountains
National Park is a 38-mile road proposed for the north
shore of Fontana Lake, the “North Shore Road.”
NCWF has been working for many years to ensure
that this destructive road is not built. To protect the
wildlife habitat in this area for future generations,
NCWF successfully advocated for a monetary settlement
for Swain County in lieu of building the road, a
position accepted by the National Park Service. This
settlement, in lieu of building the road, is the best possible
way to prevent road construction and therefore
preventing wildlife habitat from being destroyed. The
federal budget bill contains $6 million as a down
payment for Swain County in lieu of building the
North Shore Road. We will continue to work for a full
monetary settlement and prevent this road from being
built to protect the wildlife and its habitat with the
Great Smoky Mountains National Park.
perhaps the most comprehensive habitat enhancement
certification program in the country. Based on
the four necessary wildlife components of providing
food, water, cover, and places to raise young, NCWF
offers certification and enhancement programs for
workplaces (Wildlife and Industry Together/WAIT),
places of worship (Fellowship Actions Impacting the
Habitat/FAITH), an island adoption program, and in
cooperation with the National Wildlife Federation, the Wildlife Habitat certification.
There are now 5000 certified wildlife habitats in the
state. 2008 saw a large increase due in part to NCWF
and NWF joining together to establish a unique joint
certification opportunity. North Carolina property
owners may become certified by both organizations.
NCWF is the only NWF affiliate to offer this joint
In addition, in NCWF announced in 2008 a plan
to provide criteria for new developments to follow
in efforts to provide a true smart growth initiative.
Termed a “wildlife friendly certification,” this joint
venture with the N.C.Wildlife Resources Commission
is aimed at offering a guidance tool in order to minimize
the rapid development of acreage in the state
with a focus on pregrading of planned developments.
It will be unveiled in full in 2009.
STATE WILDLIFE GRANTS
The State Wildlife
Grants Program is the nation’s core program for preventing
wildlife from becoming endangered by providing
federal dollars to every state and territory to
support cost-effective conservation. Projects supported
by this program protect and restore important
lands and waters, collect information on high-priority
wildlife species, and develop partnerships with landowners
to protect declining species and habitats on
public and private lands.
NCWF led a lobby team to Washington, D.C. to
educate our delegation about the State Wildlife Grants
Program and the wildlife projects that exist in North
Carolina. We were successful in procuring support
from almost all of our delegation to increase funding for the program to $85 million. We have also
expanded, strengthened, and mobilized the North
Carolina Teaming with Wildlife Coalition members to
help secure funding and implement wildlife conservation
programs. The coalition now has 147 members,
including wildlife managers, conservationists,
hunters, anglers, and businesses that support the
goal of restoring and conserving our nation’s wildlife.
Click here for the NC Teaming With Wildlife Coalition Website.
opposed to a permit request that would
destroy more than 4,000 acres of wetlands and five
miles of streams in Beaufort County. PCS Phosphate
Company, Inc. (PCS) is seeking a Clean Water Act
permit from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to
expand a current mining operation. The permit, if
granted, would involve the largest destruction of
wetlands ever in the state. NCWF provided formal
comments to the Army Corps outlining aquatic and
terrestrial habitat concerns.
NCWF provided comments
on the Final Environmental Impact Statement and
Section 4(f) Evaluation on the proposed Bonner
Bridge. NCWF’s stance—and 2008 efforts—revolve
around protecting the biological integrity of Pea Island
National Wildlife Refuge and ensuring continued
access for all compatible wildlife-dependent
recreational uses of the Refuge.
rallied support for new rules to protect the federally
endangered Carolina heelsplitter mussel in the Goose
Creek watershed in the Yadkin Pee-Dee River Basin.
The rules would establish site-specific water quality
management plans as well as stormwater, wastewater,
and ammonia toxicity control requirements.
NCWF supports proposal B, which includes 200-foot
buffers on perennial streams and 100-foot buffers
on intermittent streams.
BP OIL SPILL
The catastrophic oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico caused by the April 20, 2010 explosion of an offshore oil rig has put local economies, wildlife and the Gulf's delicate coastal ecosystem at risk. This could be one of the worst environmental disasters in our nation's history.
Click here for more details and resources.
Harmon Den Project Scoping Letter (PDF)
Red Wolf Press Release
Offshore Wind Report Press Release (DOC)
FACT SHEET: Land and Water Conservation Fund in North Carolina (PDF)
FACT SHEET: Our Land, Our Water, Our Heritage (PDF)
9 for North Carolina: Unforgetable North Carolina destinations that have insprired NCWF leaders. (PDF)