NCSWAPdraftNews releases and email notices have recently been sent to numerous media outlets, partners, and stakeholder groups to announce the public review period for the updated Wildlife Action Plan. The N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission is seeking public comment on its draft 2015 North Carolina Wildlife Action Plan ­— a comprehensive document that identifies Species of Greatest Conservation Need and other priority fish and wildlife species as well as their habitats.

The document is available for public review and comment from July 20 until Aug. 18, 2015. It is posted on the Commission’s website  (http://www.ncwildlife.org/Conserving/2015WildlifeActionPlan.aspx).

The Commission is updating its 2005 Wildlife Action Plan with the assistance of numerous state and federal agencies, conservation organizations and citizen stakeholders. The 2015 draft describes the threats facing Species of Greatest Conservation Need and their habitats, and recommends measures to address current and emerging threats over the next 10 years. The plan also provides information about ongoing efforts to protect and conserve the state’s fish and wildlife species and their habitats — from mammals to fish, crustaceans, and reptiles and amphibians.

Wildlife Action Plans are the result of a Congressional mandate that each state develop a comprehensive conservation strategy to be eligible for federal funding under the State Wildlife Grants Program. Each year, North Carolina receives around $1.5 million to support implementation of conservation actions laid out in the plan. Among those projects are survey and monitoring efforts that help fish and wildlife biologists understand the status of nongame species as well as enhancement and restoration efforts that involve propagation of rare aquatic species that are released into native habitats.

For more information about the plan or the comment process, contact Cindy Carr by email cindy.carr@ncwildlife.org or call 919-707-0227. Comments also may be mailed to N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission, Attn: Cindy Carr, 1721 Mail Service Center, Raleigh, N.C. 27699-1721.