The National Forests in North Carolina recently signed a Master Stewardship Agreement with the NC Wildlife Resources Commission, the first of its kind in the nation between the US Forest Service and a state agency. The agreement allows the two agencies to collaboratively improve public lands with more flexibility than ever.
Examples of past stewardship projects on North Carolina’s national forests include improvements to native brook trout habitat and restoration of Southern yellow pine ecosystems. The National Forests in North Carolina has previously worked with the National Wild Turkey Federation, Ruffed Grouse Society and Quail Unlimited, all non-profit organizations, within the Stewardship authority. Adding the state Wildlife Commission creates an additional avenue for partners and contractors to work on these projects across the four national forests in North Carolina.
Possible future projects may address habitat for the endangered red-cockaded woodpecker; continue to improve mountain brook trout habitat; preserve populations of endangered plants at North Carolina’s highest elevations; and other projects to be determined through a collaborative process.
These stewardship efforts are the latest step in an ongoing Forest-wide landscape restoration emphasis, including efforts over the past several years by the forest’s collaborative Restoration Steering Committee.
For more information see the forest’s website at www.fs.usda.gov/nfsnc and search keyword “stewardship”; or call Jason Rodrigue, firstname.lastname@example.org (828-257-4248); or Dale Remington, email@example.com (828-257-4261), the NFsNC Forest Stewardship Coordinators.
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