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Outdoors: North Carolina reaches certified wildlife habitat milestone

Raleigh ó One of the state’s oldest conservation organizations, the North Carolina Wildlife Federation, has announced that North Carolina has now certified more than 5,000 Certified Wildlife Habitats.
Only eight other states have met such a distinction. NCWF and the National Wildlife Federation jointly provide certification procedures for private and public landowners interested in managing their properties to provide wildlife habitat. There have been more than 123,000 habitats certified throughout the US and Canada, with a handful in several other foreign countries.
“Passing the 5,000-mark is a tremendous accomplishment and testament to the wildlife and habitat efforts of NCWF’s chapters, volunteers and staff,” said Tim Gestwicki, executive director of the organization.
NCWF has been a very active supporter of the Certified Wildlife Habitat Program. Besides encouraging homeowners to garden for wildlife, NCWF provides Habitat Steward training, and oversees a number of specific initiatives aimed at particular kinds of properties.
These include WAIT (Wildlife and Industry Together), FAITH (Fellowship Actions Impacting the Habitat, for places of worship), the Island Habitat Program and a Wildlife-Friendly Development initiative. At each site, volunteers plan and plant habitat elements that provide the necessary criteria for wildlife to survive: food, water, shelter and places to raise young.
“We work in urban environments, in suburbs, on schoolyards and on business campusesóanywhere people care about wild things,” says Gestwicki. “Land management is where conservation starts, and ever acre matters. We look forward to celebrating our 10,000 milestone in the near future.”
The North Carolina Wildlife Federation advocates for wildlife habitat, wildlife-related recreation, and environmental issues. It has offices in Raleigh and Charlotte.
For more information, contact the Federation at 704-332-5696, or visit www.ncwf.org.

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