A Proactive Approach to Conservation
North Carolina has always been a leader in the conservation and protection of wild animals and the habitats they need to thrive. Since 2001 the state has participated in an initiative, the State Wildlife Grants Program, to increase attention and resources to wildlife conservation. Recognizing that our nation’s wildlife was at risk, Congress mandated that each state develop a strategy to protect its wildlife habitat resources. The State Wildlife Action Plan is the result of these efforts.
North Carolina’s State Wildlife Action Plan identifies 371 priority species most in need of protection, and assesses North Carolina’s 23 habitat types and 17 river basins. It allows these species to be matched to their habitat types and river basins, which provides a framework to strategically evaluate and determine specific conservation actions.
The State Wildlife Action Plan is a cost-effective, proactive approach to the conservation of entire wildlife communities, including those fish and wildlife species for which management has been traditionally under-funded.
For state, local and federal agencies, and non-profit conservation groups, it is a critical tool to guide decisions on which lands to protect, where to target increased funding for conservation purchases and wildlife management programs, and where partners can work collectively to achieve shared goals.
A full copy of the State Wildlife Action Plan can be ordered on CD or downloaded from the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission Web site at www.ncwildlife.org.
For more information on North Carolina’s State Wildlife Action Plan, contact the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission, Wildlife Diversity Program, 1751 Varsity Dr., Raleigh, NC 27606.
The goals of the N.C. State Wildlife Action Plan are to:
- Improve our understanding of species diversity and enhance our ability to make sound conservation and management decisions to protect wildlife.
- Conserve and enhance habitats and the ecological communities they support.
- Foster partnerships and cooperative efforts among natural resource agencies, non-profit conservation organizations, academia and private industry.
- Promote outreach to citizens and conservation stakeholders.
- Sustain and improve existing regulations, programs and funding aimed at conserving habitats and communities.
In land conservation, North Carolina’s State Wildlife Conservation Plan can be used by government agencies, land trusts and other conservation groups to target the most critical properties for wildlife protection. The action plan can be used by private landowners to protect and improve habitat on their property, or by local governments to make urban parks and recreation areas wildlife-friendly. Information in the plan can help set priorities for funding land protection based on the sites wildlife value and also help assess whether the property can be used for hunting, hiking or other recreational opportunities.
Once a property is bought or placed under a conservation agreement, the State Wildlife Action Plan can help guide management of that land in ways that sustain habitats and the species they support.
Educators can mine the SWAP for information about animal species and habitat across North Carolina. It can be used in conjunction with other offerings of the Wildlife Resources Commission, including its four education centers and Project WILD, a popular conservation and environmental education program for students in kindergarten through high school.
SWAP and The LandTrust for Central NC
Through a partnership with the Doris Duke Foundation and The Conservation Fund, The LandTrust has been able to use SWG funding to secure the King Mountain Property, which fills a gap in the Uwharrie Recreational Trail, houses rare plants, a unique Piedmont Monadnock forest, and mature hardwood trees, habitat for many of our state’s species, including the eastern box turtle. The goal of SWAP to keep common animals common ensures that all species, including humans, have a healthy and happy home. For more information about this project, please check out the King Mountain Property page under our Protected Property Section of our website, or by clicking here.