News release from The Nature Conservancy:
DURHAM – Today The Nature Conservancy announced that it has acquired 459 acres in Pender County. The U.S. Navy covered half of the purchase price, because the newly protected area will expand habitat for the federally endangered red-cockaded woodpecker and help buffer nearby Camp Lejeune firing ranges from development.
Red-cockaded woodpeckers prefer to make their homes in living longleaf pines. The Conservancy will restore the longleaf pine forest through additional planting and careful, controlled burning.
“There’s little history of soil disturbance in the area, which means the plants and wetlands that dot the land are in excellent shape but for the need for fire,” says Hervey McIver, who leads the Conservancy’s work in Pender County. “It will respond well to fire – bringing out rare plants such as Venus flytrap.”