Raleigh Ecological Services Field Office
Conserving the Nature of America

Boiling Spring Lakes, North Carolina

Information for Boiling Spring Lakes Residents


In the Winter of 2005, biologists with the North Carolina Ecological Services Field Office located in Raleigh North Carolina met with city officials to discuss the prescence of an endangered species the red-cockaded woodpecker in and around the city of Boiling Spring Lakes.

The red-cockaded woodpecker (RCW) is a federally listed endangered species. The Endangered Species Act (ESA) enacted in 1973, prohibits the "take" of listed species, defined under Section 9 as actions that harm, harass, pursue, hunt, shoot, wound, trap, capture, collect, or kill a species. A "take" also includes actions that significantly modify habitat in a manner that would lead to the injury or death of a listed species.

In order to protect the birds and to keep residents from violating the ESA, the ecological services field supervisor along with the RCW recovery biologist and others from the USFWS along with biologists from the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission met with the mayor of Boiling Spring Lakes the city planner, and a Brunswick county and Boiling Spring Lakes city commissioners in early December. In mid-Janaury 2006, the same group attended a workshop convened by the mayor and commissioners of Boiling Spring Lakes to answer questions posed by the panel and the citizens.

What can be done?

Under the ESA, the city of Boiling Spring Lakes and/or individuals can apply for an "incidental take permit". To obtain a permit, one must first develop a Habitat Conservation Plan (HCP). While you, as an individual property owner, may apply for an incidental take permit, the process can be rather lengthy and somewhat complicated, and can involve considerable expense. For this reason, the Service is working diligently with town leaders and State officials to investigate developing a Habitat Conservation Plan for Boiling Spring Lakes and issue a single incidental take permit that would cover the entire town, thereby avoiding the need for individual property owners to go through the permit process. A final decision by the city has not been made at this time.

Property Development?

Yes, property development can continue on most lots in Boiling Spring Lakes.

Go to this site, before you build, to check first with the City of Boiling Spring Lakes if your property is located in an area that the USFWS has identified as containing red-cocakded woodpecker cavity trees or foraging habitat. If you are in one of these areas, and if you have not cleared your lot before September 7, 2006, you will need to contact our office 919-856-4520, ext. 25. We will need your parcel identification/tax identification number in order to process your information. Also, if possible please fill out a Longleaf Pine Tree Data Sheet (Example of a longleaf pine tree data sheet) and fax it or mail it to our office. If your property does not contain a cavity tree or is within a foraging habitat, you need to work with the City of Boiling Spring Lakes to receive your building permit.

City of Boiling Spring Lakes Online Removal Request

Documents related to Boiling Spring Lakes, NC

For Additional Information Contact:

Emily Wells, Fish and Wildlife Biologist, 919-856-4520, ext. 25

Red-cockaded woodpeckers nest in live pine trees so they can drill holes to stimulate sap production.  The sap deters predatory climbing snakes.

Photo Credit: John Maxwell, USFWS


Boiling Springs Lake City, NC Logo

The City of Boiling Spring Lakes website is the first stop for landowners planning to develop land or remove trees on parcels that are in close proximity to potential nesting cavities or foraging areas for the red-cockaded woodpecker. Please contact the City to see if your parcel falls in any of these areas before cutting any trees.


active nest

Active nest, cavity entrance, USFWS.



Last Updated: 12/1/2020