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State of North Carolina Wildlife Habitat Protection Ordinance

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Cities and counties have some authority over wildlife habitat protection by virtue of their ability to implement watershed improvement projects, which are defined at § 139-3(17) as those involving flood prevention, drainage improvement, water supply, soil and water conservation, recreation facilities, fish and wildlife habitat, or other related purposes. (See Watershed Planning, above.) However, North Carolina gives primary responsibility for protecting wildlife habitat to the state-level Natural Heritage Program under the Nature Preserves Act, found at Article 9A in Chapter 113A. The program designates areas for protection as nature preserves with the advice of the Wildlife Resources Commission and the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. Local governments may have some say regarding such designations through their representation on advisory committees that the Program’s secretary is required to appoint under § 113A-164.4(6).