Ways to Get Involved

Partners for Fish and Wildlife Program 

This longleaf landowner is recognized with a sign for using herbicides and fire to reduce mid-story oaks to benefit red-cockaded woodpeckers and Bachman’s sparrows. Photo by FWS.

The Partners for Fish and Wildlife Program offers support for private landowners to restore their land for wildlife. Support often comes in the form of voluntary, on-the-ground, cost shared, habitat improvement projects on private lands for the benefit of rare species such as those that are federally threatened, endangered, or at-risk. We are a small and personal program, partnering with landowners to meet our mutual objectives for the land and its native wildlife. We also connect landowners to other partners and programs that may be able to provide technical or financial resources. We work in a diversity of habitat types throughout North Carolina, and focus on streams and riparian riparian
Definition of riparian habitat or riparian areas.

Learn more about riparian
areas, longleaf pine, and forested wetlands where rare species occur. 

Why private lands?

 Ninety percent of the land in North Carolina is privately owned. We believe that without conservation efforts on private lands, our trust resources would not survive. 

All private landowners qualify, including individuals, family trusts, partnerships, corporate owners, non-profit organizations, and local governments. 

Landowners agree to provide cost share or in kind services and keep their land in the restored condition for a minimum of 10 years.

Public access to your property is not requested.


Since its beginning in 1988 the Partners for Fish and Wildlife Program in NC has restored or enhanced 25,000 acres of upland habitat, 7,000 acres of wetland habitat, and 200 miles of streams on 440 properties across the state. Landowners tell us that they like the flexibility of our program and the personal interaction with a biologist who helps them throughout the project and beyond. 

Greater Uwharrie, Sandhills, Cape Fear Arch, and Onslow Bight Longleaf Pine

We work locally with geographically based implementation teams or conservation partnerships including the Uwharrie, Sandhills, Cape Fear Arch, and Onslow Bight Conservation Partnerships. The Partnerships conserve biological diversity with an emphasis on recovery of the longleaf pine ecosystem and the rare species dependent upon it such as red-cockaded woodpeckers and Venus flytraps. We support planting longleaf and native ground cover and re-introducing prescribed fire.

Central North Carolina Aquatic Habitat 

Covering several drainages of the Tar-Pamlico, Neuse, Cape Fear, and Pee Dee River Basins, this focus area supports several federally listed and at-risk aquatic species, including some endemic only to the Atlantic Slope river basins of eastern North Carolina, such as Carolina Madtom, Tar River Spinymussel, Neuse River Waterdog, and Cape Fear Shiner. Practices for these species include fish passage fish passage
Fish passage is the ability of fish or other aquatic species to move freely throughout their life to find food, reproduce, and complete their natural migration cycles. Millions of barriers to fish passage across the country are fragmenting habitat and leading to species declines. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's National Fish Passage Program is working to reconnect watersheds to benefit both wildlife and people.

Learn more about fish passage
enhancement or barrier removal, streambank stabilization, in-stream habitat restoration, and riparian enhancement/establishment.

Albemarle-Pamlico Peninsula Red Wolf Habitat 

Once an expansive wetland complex of pocosins, marshes, canebrakes, and non-riverine hardwood swamps, the natural hydrology of the five-county peninsula has now been highly altered through ditching and draining of the natural wetlands. Here we work with landowners to improve habitat for red wolves and their prey and reduce human-wolf conflict.


John Ann Shearer, State Coordinator, Raleigh, NC. 919-602-1287

Luke Lolies, Partners Biologist, Manteo, NC.  252-256-3676

Our Partners

Albemarle Pamlico Community Conservation Collaboration

The Albemarle Pamlico Community Conservation Collaboration got underway in 2007 when an extensive group of professionals gathered to share concerns for the natural resources and important wildlife habitats of the Albemarle Pamlico peninsula, especially in light of global climate change climate change
Climate change includes both global warming driven by human-induced emissions of greenhouse gases and the resulting large-scale shifts in weather patterns. Though there have been previous periods of climatic change, since the mid-20th century humans have had an unprecedented impact on Earth's climate system and caused change on a global scale.

Learn more about climate change
. This group intends to explore opportunities to manage lands, restore habitats, and protect lands and waters for the benefit of species native to the region. To learn more or become involved contact Sam Pearsall at: 

Cape Fear Arch Conservation Collaboration

The Cape Fear Arch encompasses one of the most biologically diverse areas along the Atlantic coast. It includes the watersheds of the lower Cape Fear and the Waccamaw Rivers. Like so many areas along the coast, this area is under great development pressure, creating an ever-increasing demand for supporting infrastructure which eliminates habitat for important wildlife species. Several interested conservation partners began collaborating in 2006 with a mission to develop a community conservation vision that provides protection and stewardship of the important natural resources and raises conservation awareness. To learn more or become involved, visit the partnership web site at: www.capefeararch.org

Chatham Conservation Partnership

To provide a voice for Chatham County’s natural resources and perhaps a vision for their protection, more than 40 active participants from state and federal agencies, local land trusts, local conservation organization, county officials, commissioners, planners, and landowners several organizations, agencies, officials, and concerned citizens began convening in the fall of 2006. They comprised the newly formed Chatham Conservation Partnership. It desires a sustainable county focused on the preservation of its natural resources and rural and agricultural heritage. To learn more visit Chatham Conservation Partnership.

Dan River Coalition

Formed in 2008, the Dan River Coalition hopes to put together partners and resources to focus on the protection and stewardship of the natural resources of the Dan River from its upper most parts in Virginia to Kerr Lake. To learn more or become involved contact Julie Elmore at: piedmontconservationcouncil@gmail.com

Greater Uwharrie Conservation Partnership

The Greater Uwharrie Conservation Partnership centers around the southern and central Piedmont of North Carolina that contains the Uwharries, an ancient mountain range; a series of lakes along the Yadkin-Pee Dee watershed; nationally significant aquatic habitats; rare wetlands; Uwharrie National Forest; Pee Dee National Wildlife Refuge; farmlands; and Piedmont prairie remnants. The mission of this partnership is "to work for the long-term conservation and enhancement of biological diversity and ecosystem sustainability throughout the Greater Uwharries landscape compatible with the land use, conservation and management objectives of the participating organizations and agencies." To learn more or become involved visit Greater Uhwharrie Conservation Partnership.

North Carolina Longleaf Coalition

The North Carolina Longleaf Coalition promotes the maintenance and restoration of North Carolina’s longleaf pine ecosystem, including its cultural and economic values. It has formeda collaborative network of diverse stakeholders to provide strategic leadership across the historic range while also supporting local restoration activities. To learn more or become involved visit the website at: North Carolina Longleaf Coalition.

North Carolina Prescribed Fire Council

The North Carolina Prescribed Fire Council, while not geared to a specific geographic region of the state, is a partnership of resources managers, both public and private, with the focus of promoting prescribed fire and addressing barriers to prescribed burning. The primary goal of the council is to optimize burning opportunities for the benefit of natural ecosystems and wildlife, and to reduce the risk of damage from wildfires. Fire is such a integral process for the management of much of our state’s habitats. Prescribed burning benefits game, nongame, and endangered wildlife species by enhancing wildlife habitat. To learn more or become involved visit the website at: North Carolina Prescribed Fire Council.

North Carolina Sandhills Conservation Partnership

The North Carolina Sandhills Conservation Partnership was formed in 2000 to facilitate collaboration between various federal, state, and nonprofit conservation groups for the purpose of conserving the vanishing longleaf pine ecosystem and recovering the federally listed endangered red-cockaded woodpecker in the North Carolina Sandhills. To learn more or become involved visit the web site at: North Carolina Sandhills Conservation Partnership.

Onslow Bight Conservation Forum

The Onslow Bight Conservation Forum has among its goals "to promote the conservation, restoration, health and sustainable use of the landscape and the native terrestrial and aquatic communities that depend, in whole or in part, on the lands and waters of the Onslow Bight area." The Onslow Bight, bounded on the north by Cape Lookout and on the South by Cape Fear, contains a  landform of saltwater marshes, riverine wetlands, pocosins, longleaf pine savannahs, and other coastal ecosystems. It also includes several large protected areas such as Camp Lejeune and Croatan National Forest. To learn more or become involved contact Hervey McIver at: hmciver@tnc.org

Upper Tar Collaboration

Anchored by the Tar River Land Conservancy, the Upper Tar Collaboration, includes a multitude of corporate, agency, nonprofit, and private partners dedicated to preserving and managing riparian riparian
Definition of riparian habitat or riparian areas.

Learn more about riparian
buffers and wetlands to help protect the incredible aquatic biodiversity that resides in the Upper Tar River Basin. This basin is nationally recognized as one of the most important watersheds along the East Coast because it harbors 14 federal and state rare and endangered species, including the federally endangered Tar spinymussel and dwarf wedgemussel. To learn more or become involved contact Derek Halberg at 
dhalberg@tarriver.org or visit the Tar River Land Conservancy.

Key organizations

  • North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission- www.ncwildlife.org
  • North Carolina Natural Heritage Program, N.C. Department of Natural and Cultural Resources – www.ncnhp.org


Public Involvement– Our staff keeps the public advised of approved programs and policies which affect our office work through formal news media, social media, informal contacts, and other communication methods. When the Service proposes regulatory changes species within our work area, our staff is responsible for implementing an open and transparent process to inform the public and solicit public input. Our staff provides context and pertinence ensuring that Service proposals, processes and timelines are fair and clearly understood by our stakeholders. When needed, we also hold public meetings and hearings, and use traditional and social media to educate and engage the public.

An attentive public listens to a presentation about the Red Wolf Non-essential Experimental Population at the Roanoke Island Festival Park, Indoor Theater in Manteo, North Carolina., on July 10, 2018. Photo by Lilibeth Serrano, Public Affairs Specialist.