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NCWF Steps Up for Sustainable Development

October 10, 2010 - The Wildlife Friendly Development Certification (WFDC) program is a new collaboration between the N.C.Wildlife Resources Commission, North Carolina Wildlife Federation, and the N.C. chapter of the American Society of Landscape Architects. This voluntary program is designed to formally recognize residential developments where developers have gone above and beyond current rules and regulations to protect wildlife habitat and reduce environmental impacts.

Developers can market their Certified Wildlife Friendly Development to homeowners who value the protection of natural resources. The WFDC program implements strategies outlined in the N.C. Wildlife Action Plan and expands upon green building standards that are becoming normal components of building practices in North Carolina.

As the population of our state continues to increase and more land is developed, it is imperative to minimize impacts to fish and wildlife, and their habitats. This program is designed to get developers and biologists talking early and to identify important natural resources prior to beginning a new development. Developments are evaluated using criteria that cover everything from wetland protection and stream crossings to trail design and landscaping.

This program has the potential to protect priority wildlife habitat while increasing property values and enhancing quality of life for residents. The program recognizes residential land developers who promote the conservation of wildlife habitat and use environmentally sound development practices. Homeowners living in Certified Wildlife Friendly Developments can be confident that they are helping protect wildlife and their habitats. Additionally, wildlife benefits due to the protected and enhanced habitats on site.

Developments are recognized as wildlife friendly after meeting a sufficient number of criteria. These criteria cover the planning and construction phases and conditions must be maintained once the development is complete. Not all criteria are applicable for every development and developments of various sizes and site conditions can be certified. Applicants interested in certifying their developments work closely with staffs from NCWF and the Wildlife Resources Commission throughout the certification process.

Collected fees cover all services associated with theWFDC program and support further wildlife conservation and habitat protection in North Carolina. For more information about this new program, visit www.ncwildcertify.org.

NCWF Journal Fall 2010