North Carolina Sandhills Conservation Partnership, North Carolina
Partnership Group Name: North Carolina Sandhills Conservation Partnership, North Carolina. (Note that this is not a legally binding partnership as defined by NC State Law).
Partnership: Among U. S Fish and Wildlife Service, the U. S. Army at Fort Bragg, the U. S. Army Environmental Center, the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission, The Nature Conservancy, The Sandhills Ecological Institute, and the Sandhills Area Land Trust. The partnership was formed in 2000 with the specific intent to facilitate collaboration among various federal, state and non-profit conservation groups to conserve the vanishing longleaf pine ecosystem and recover the federally-listed endangered red-cockaded woodpecker (RCW) in the North Carolina Sandhills.
Focus: Enhanced coordination and communication; aid in leveraging of funding; enhanced dialogue on a regional scale; helping to promote compatible land use practices on private lands; serve as a forum to launch new collaborative efforts; and, promoting overall regional conservation in the North Carolina Sandhills.
Partnership Facilitator: U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service
Resource Issues of Concern: Longleaf pine ecosystem; longleaf pine savannas; riverine wetlands; endangered and threatened species with special focus on the red-cockaded woodpecker.
Actions to Date:
- Partnership formed in 2000. Charter Developed;
- Mission Defined; Decision-making Method Agreed Upon; Ground Rules Established
- Regular Meetings: Steering Committee meets quarterly; Working Groups meet either monthly or bi-monthly.
- Six active diverse stakeholder-based Working Groups
- Four of the partners are housed together in the Conservation Center of the Sandhills
- Coordinates regularly with the Regional Land Use Advisory Commission and local community leaders
- Served to help stimulate creation of the Sustainable Sandhills Initiative
- Collaborative funding proposals have been developed and submitted for funding consideration
- The State Department of Agriculture and the State Division of Parks and Recreation, The Nature Conservancy and the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission have voluntarily agreed to manage their properties to promote the recovery of the RCW reflecting a significant contribution towards recovery efforts.
- Partnership developed an Interim Site Conservation Reserve Design and sought public input into this process. A final design will be completed and reviewed by January 2005.
- Since 2002, collective efforts have resulted in 9,089 acres conserved and managed.
- Working closely with private landowners. There are now over 44-49,000 acres of private lands in the Fish and Wildlife Service’s Safe Harbor Program to help in the recovery of the RCW.