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N.C. Department of Environment and Natural Resources

NC Department of Environment and Natural Resources
Natural Heritage Program - NHP - Home

Natural Heritage Program

Data Services

Explore NC's natural areas using our Data Explorer Map.

Our Database Search summarizes Natural Heritage Program data by county, topo map, or statewide.

Do you use GIS software? Instructions on how to download shapefiles of our data can be found here.

Contribute Data

Contribute to the Natural Heritage Program database, download rare species survey forms, and learn about ecological research opportunities in North Carolina.

Publications

View a searchable list of NHP publications

Definitions of State and Federal protection statuses as well as a number of other terms can be found here.

Legislation and Policies

G.S. §113A-164 Nature Preserves Act

Administrative Code for Natural Heritage Program

Procedures for Re-evaluating Natural Area Designation

Request for Data Confidentiality

 

Mission

To provide science and incentives to inform conservation decisions and support conservation of significant natural areas in our state.

The North Carolina Natural Heritage Program is part of the Office of Land and Water Stewardship within the N.C. Department of Environment and Natural Resources. The program serves as an information clearinghouse in support of conservation of the rarest and most outstanding elements of natural diversity in the state. These elements of natural diversity include plants and animals which are so rare or the natural communities which are so significant that they merit special consideration as land-use decisions are made.

Learn More...

  • The Natural Heritage Program follows methodology developed by The Nature Conservancy and the Natural Heritage Network and maintained by NatureServe.
  • By consolidating information about hundreds of rare species and natural communities, the program ensures that the public is able to get the information that is needed to weigh the ecological significance of various sites, and to evaluate ecological impacts.
  • This information helps project planners and landowners make land use decisions that have the most benefit for society and the economy, while having the least ecological impact.
  • This information facilitates the establishment of priorities for the protection of North Carolina's most significant natural areas.

 

The public comment period is now open for the following rules under review pursuant to G.S. 150B-21.3A:

15A NCAC 12H – Natural Heritage Program

The public comment period for the rules is: May 20, 2015 through July 27, 2015.

The public may provide comments by clicking this link: http://rulesreview.ncdenr.gov/. From here, a list of subchapters under review are available on the left. Each subchapter is linked to a table that lists each rule by citation number, name, whether the rule implements or conforms to Federal Regulation and the agency's initial determination. Clicking on the rule citation number will take the user to the rule itself. Each row has an "Add Comment" button. From here, a form will be displayed where you can enter and submit your comment by answering the required questions. The user also has the option to submit a comment by sending a document/file. Information regarding file size limitations are included. A public comment is defined as, a written comment objecting to the rule, in whole or in part, received by an agency from any member of the public, including an association or other organization representing the regulated community or other members of the public (G.S. 150B-21.3A(a)(5)). In order for a comment to be considered by the Rules Review Commission, the comment must address the content of the rule. The user may provide an affiliation in the boxes provided, although it is not required. All comments submitted will be sent electronically to authorized staff.

Comments may also be submitted by submitting this document and this spreadsheet to:

DENR Rule Comments, 1601 Mail Service Center, Raleigh, NC 27699

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