North Carolina National Forests & Refuges
Lack of Resources to Maintain NC Public Lands
Millions of acres of federal public lands are located in North Carolina, including national parks like the Great Smoky Mountains and Cape Hatteras National Seashore, four national forests, numerous wilderness and recreation areas, and 11 national wildlife refuges. These public lands belong to all of us. They offer wildlife habitats and populations for all citizens to enjoy, and provide spaces for recreational activities such as hunting, hiking, fishing, biking, wildlife observation and environmental education.
There are significant threats to these natural treasures, including attempts to extract fossil fuels and liquidate the national interest in federal land management through the transfer of federal lands to state or local governments or by selling the lands to private interests. Additionally, there aren’t adequate resources to maintain, increase, and meet public lands’ statutory management goals.
Conserve, Protect, Manage and Restore Public Lands
North Carolina Wildlife Federation collaborates with the National Wildlife Refuge System and the National Forest Service to conserve, protect, manage and restore public lands. Efforts focus on maximizing benefit and meeting the needs of present and future generations of Americans.
We are all public land owners!
What We're Doing
Outcomes & Impact
NCWF is part of the Nantahala-Pisgah Forest Partnership collaborative for the Nantahala-Pisgah Forest Management Plan Revision. This plan, which impacts over 1 million N.C. acres, revision supports:
- Prescribed burning, timber stand improvement and other management activities to repair, recover and maintain habitat conditions.
- Protection of old-growth forest required for bears, owls, hawks, squirrels, and many songbirds.
- Reintroduction of the American chestnut, improvement of trout stream riparian zones, return of open woodland conditions, meadows, and fire-adapted ecosystems.
- Adding 250,000 acres to the Roanoke River National Wildlife Refuge acquisition boundary, with authorization to purchase acres and easements.
- The U.S. Forest Service’s Preferred Plan for the Twelve Mile Project in Pisgah National Forest to benefit wildlife species including elk, ruffed grouse, golden winged warbler, and numerous aquatic species. Increased forest openings, burning and forest thinning practices could positively impact elk populations.
- The expansion of the Mountain Bogs National Wildlife Refuge to better conserve listed and at-risk species, protect and maintain areas for biodiversity, and provide wildlife-related educational and recreational opportunities to the public.
- Conservation to maintain wetland systems to improve water quality, exclude residential development to protect lands, and increase water storage and carbon sequestration.
- Restoring habitat and creating firebreaks on the Pocosin Lakes National Wildlife Refuge.
- Defend existing public lands from divestment efforts and from being opened to harmful new development and resource extraction.