The North Carolina Partners Program (NC Partners for short) is a cost share program to assist landowners with development of wetland wildlife habitat on private property. Cooperating agencies include the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission, Ducks Unlimited and the Natural Resources Conservation Service. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service administers the program funded by the cooperating agencies.
Although emphasis is placed on creating shallow wetlands attractive to waterfowl, benefits to other wildlife and water quality are recognized as well. The program cost shares water control structures and dike construction and is available to landowners statewide on sites with adequate topography, suitable soils and water sources conducive to winter flooding.
Several general restrictions include that areas must be managed and maintained for a minimum of 10 years and landowners must be willing to flood areas from early fall through late winter. Areas may be hunted a maximum of 3 half days/week. No commercial hunting is allowed.
Since its inception in 1987, NC Partners has provided cost share on 85 projects creating over 4,200 acres of wetlands. Funding agencies have contributed over $300,000 with landowners contributing nearly $1,000,000. Recent surveys indicate peak waterfowl use of these areas at around 20,000. Numerous shorebirds and wading birds also take advantage of the high quality habitat.
For more information about the program, visit the NC Partners website.