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Government Printing Office, www. Non-residents may purchase publications for the prices listed. Because of the production costs involved, some of the publications carry a minimal charge onrth of residency. Prices for these chatt indicated in the price list as being "for all requests". When ordering publications please provide the publication and title and enclose a check made payable to DNRCD.
I Bibliography. Carteret County Natural Areas. Rachel Carson Sanctuary and Its Environs. Core Banks - Portsmouth. Croatan Forest Peat Deposits. Pocosin Natural Area.
Patsy Pond Natural Area. Shackleford Banks.
Roosevelt Natural Area. Ownership of Theodore Roosevelt Tract. Atlantic Natural Area. Atlantic Natural Area ificance Summary. Brown's Island. Western Portion of Brown's Island. Emerald Isle Woods. Hadnot Creek.
Masontown Pocosin. North River Marshes. Pringle Road Carolina Bays.
Sea Gate Woods. Union Point Pocosin. Walkers Mill Pond Natural Area. Wildberry Woods. CEIP funded the Carteret County survey because of the potential environ- mental impacts of peat mining and other energy-related development. The recommendations in this report by John Fussell and Jeannie Wilson are advisory. Their inventory and recommenda- tions are deed to help state and federal agencies, county officials, resource managers, landowners and developers work out effective land management and preservation mechanisms to protect the outstanding or exemplary natural areas de- scribed in this report.
Agencies such as the N. Fish and Wildlife Service, U. Army Corps of Engineers, National marine Fisheries Service, and Environmental Protec- tion Carolima should find this report useful, as may university researchers, private consultants, and private conservation groups. The Office of Coastal Management will use the report in assessing permit applications and for federal and state consistency reviews. Jeannie Wilson and John Fussell are experienced field biologists, with intimate familiarity with the ecological resources of the project region.
The investigators were exceptionally well qualified to identify, cbat, and evaluate the most outstanding natural areas of the project region. Project investigators were instructed to identify natural areas that contain highly unique, endangered, or rare natural features, or high-quality representations of relatively un- disturbed natural habitats, and which may be vulnerable to threats and damage from land use changes. Consequently, the investigators were advised not to report extensively on the large expanses of brackish and salt marshes, that fringe most of the county's shoreline, and which, for the most part, are ecosystems protected through state and federal regulatory programs.
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The investigators did not report on the barrier islands composing Cape Lookout National Seashore Core, Portsmouth, and Shackelford islands. The original document compiled by Fussell and Wilson con- tained reports on 23 natural areas. It has been necessary to reduce that to those areas considered to possess ecological resources of national, statewide, or regional ificance.
Descriptions for other sites of local interest are obtainable from the Natural Heritage Program. In some cases, AECs coincide with natural areas that are herein recommended for v preservation or special management. In come cases, AECs may encompass other areas--such as marsh zone wetlands--which are not extensively treated in this inventory. Peat mining has particular implications for these natural areas, some of which overlay exploitable peat deposits.
Mining will remove natural vegetation, permanently alter the hydrology of the region, lower surface soil types from high organic histosoils to the clayey, sandy, and loamy soils typical of other parts of the outer coastal plain.
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Thus, natural communities, once mining is complete, almost certainly could never be re-established or reclaimed on mined-out land. Preservation of the best natural areas, and appropriate hydrological management, is necessary prior to and during active peat mining. The Natural Heritage Program is most pl 'eased to have had this opportunity to conduct this project for the Office of Caroliina Management.
The inventory has revealed a of high quality natural areas that possess natural elements of national and statewide priority and are important parts of North Carolina's natural diversity. Some of the identified sites were ly unknown and undocumented by the state's scientific community. The Natural Heritage Program hopes that these areas will be protected for the caeolina of present morth future genera- tions of North Carolinians and for the preservation of the state's truly exceptional natural heritage.
Charles E. Roe, Coordinator N. These include exemplary physical features, exemplary plant communities, and special habitats. Also, we prepared reports, according to Natural Heritage Program specifications, on natural areas that had not ly been reported on. Especially prominent physical features are the great length of barrier islands including a Carolina cape-- Cape Lookout ; large shallow sounds and other estuaries ; extensive tracts of salt marshes, especially the irregularly flooded marshes cyat.
Also notable are several Pleistocene relict beach ridge complexes with their associated Carolina bays. These ridges support the majority of longleaf pine Pinus palustris woodlands chxt savannahs found in the county.
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Until recent years, the great majority of the land area of the county was "undeveloped". As recently asmost towns and communities, agriculture and sylviculture were largely restricted to well-drained sections of the mainland adjacent to the estuaries or larger drainage systems. Since then the barrier island Bogue Banks has been converted from a mostly undeveloped to a mostly developed island. In the last decade, vast areas of pocosin which formerly totaled overacres in the county have been converted to sylviculture and agriculture.
One agricultural enterprise alone, the Open Grounds Farm, has converted over 30, acres of pocosin to agriculture. Only about half of the original pocosin area of the county remains. Most of this is in Croatan National Forest in the western half of the county.
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Work on Natural Areas of County Being the site of one or more marine science labora- tories since the turn of the century, Carteret County has long had a wealth of literature dealing with the marine biology and ecology of the area. However, broad studies of terrestrial sites and land plants and animals have begun only recently. The broadest in terms of area covered studies we have seen are Engels vertebrate animals of Shackleford Banks ; Fisher geology of all former inlet sites ; Fisher geology of relict beach ridges on mainland and barrier islands ; Au ecology, plant communities, plant species lists of Shackleford Banks ; Godfrey and Godfrey geology and ecology of Core and Shackleford Banks ; Mixon and Pilkey detailed geology of majority of county ; Fussell plant communities and terrestrial verebrate animals of Bogue Banks ; Osborn and Custer thorough censuses and maps of all wading bird colonies in and ; Synder plant ecology, plant communities of portion of Croatan National Forest ; Parnell and Soots thorough censues and maps of all waterbird colonies in In addition to these major papers, we have in the past and as part of this study gone over many probably hundreds papers dealing either directly or indirectly with the geology and biology of the county.
Our primary source of information regarding the numerous localities of endangered, threatened, and other rare species was the Natural Heritage Program's data bank computer printout of reported occurrences. Thirteen reports to the Natural Heritage Program on ificant natural areas in the county - FullerWilsonWilson and FullerFu 'ssell and WilsonOtte and WhetstoneWilson and Fusselland Fussell and Wilson - have been done prior,to this study. They include some of the highest priority areas; these reports are included with this study.
During July and August, we did preliminary literature searches and mapping. We reviewed the Natural Heritage Program computer print-out on Carteret County, contacted several persons who are knowledgeable about different aspects of the natural areas of the county, reviewed orthophotoqu, aerial photography, and topo- graphic quadrangles, and reviewed the unpublished Soil and Conservation Service soil survey of the county.
We purchased several ASCS aerial photographs for use in field work. Some persons contacted were: Dr. Marine Resources Center on Bogue Banks. While deating and mapping tentative natural areas, we stressed areas in which ificant physical features, plant communities, and special habitats were "clumped". We also thought in terms of a general cross-section of physical and biological features, e. On 25 August, we made a systematic two hour flight over the county with the county surveyor, John Collier.
We hoped to further evaluate potential naturel areas from the air and to ascertain if all the large roadless areas shown on the most recent State Forest Service map of the county shows all ro made in were still intact. Our flight accomplished the second goal but not the first; we found aerial photographs to be more helpful. From the first week of September through November, we surveyed 23 areas we had identified as being of potential interest.
We compiled four long reports and 19 short reports on these areas. In general we made long reports for the most ificant or most complex areas, and made short reports on the less ificant or the "simplest" although these might be ificant areas-- e. We made no report on one very ifi- cant area-- the largest pocosin in Croatan National Forest. However, we did survey three adjacent smaller - 4 - pocosins. We were not able to visit "Luken's Island" which is very inaccessible and which may be a highly ificant area; we compiled a report on that area based on observations by a person who is very knowledgeable about the area.
Approximately days in the field were required for each area described by a long report. Also, for each of these areas, we included data ly collected by us at various times as early as Approximately one day in the field was spent at each of the areas described by a short report. From late October to December, we refined our maps of selected natural areas and compiled the reports.
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Approxi- mately days were required for each of the long reports and one day for each of the short reports. Our final report includes: 1 a set of topographic quadrangles and a set of orthophotoqu, each with primary physical features, plant communities, and special habitats mapped; 2 a "key" describing primary values and a general rating of all mapped areas; 3 copies of our 13 reports on natural areas of ra,eigh county; 4 our 23 reports prepared for this study.
Recommendations Descriptions of the countyts natural areas of greatest ecological ificance are included in this document.
Details about these colonies are in the "key" accompanying the topographic quadrangles. Duke Univ.