Southeastern North Carolina is recognized as one of the most ecologically diverse locations on earth, with large, interconnected longleaf forests and wetlands. To support the restoration and stewardship of NC’s longleaf pine forests, The Nature Conservancy NC (TNC NC) has established a conservation program that includes large land acquisitions, increased controlled burn capacity and an expansion of forest restoration and management efforts. Activities include ongoing introduction of fire to the landscape, monitoring endangered species like Red Cockaded Woodpecker (RCW), and planting longleaf seedlings.
The Orton Foundation supports The Nature Conservancy North Carolina’s work to restore longleaf pine throughout the Cape Fear River basin area through controlled burns and forest health management, specifically at the Orton Creek and the Green Swamp preserves in Brunswick County, NC. This work is encouraging new growth and supporting populations of rare and endangered plants and wildlife, and is bolstering range-wide restoration efforts across adjacent longleaf pine landscapes.
TNC NC host an annual and popular Fire in the Pines event in Wilmington, NC to educate the public about the importance of prescribed burning. The highlight of the festival is a demonstration controlled burn to give festival goers the opportunity to see how burns are conducted and learn more about their importance to the ecosystem. Additionally, Fire in the Pines provides a venue for an ongoing study on public perceptions of controlled burning, this year in partnership with UNC Wilmington.
“Burn Boss” Angie Carl manages ~36,000 acres of nature preserves including the Green Swamp, Shaken Creek, and McLean’s Savannah. Under her leadership, these preserves have transformed into some of the best remaining examples of coastal longleaf natural communities. Nature Conservancy North Carolina also has 715,000+ acres of natural areas protected across the state, with 38,455 acres in active forest management.