(a)  The manner and requirements of making application for cost sharing funds pursuant to the Forest Development Act are as follows:

(1)           Any eligible landowner may apply for cost sharing payment.

(2)           Application may be made by completing an application form furnished by the department and returning it to one of the field offices of the Division of Forest Resources.  An approved forest management plan relating to the application which assures forest productivity and provides environmental protection of the State's woodland must be on file with the Division of Forest Resources before the application may be accepted.

(b)  The Secretary of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources shall approve completed applications.  Funds shall be allocated from the Forest Development Fund to the landowner for cost sharing on a "first come, first served" basis, determined by the date of receipt of the application in the Division of Forest Resources' office in Raleigh, and until all available funds are encumbered.  An exception shall be made at the beginning of each fiscal year.  At that time all applications shall be held for a 10-day period to allow for inequities in the mail system.  Should the applications received during the 10-day period exceed the funds available, allocation shall be made by proration and lottery.  A prorata share of monies shall be made to the Division's three regions in accordance with the percent of total funds requested from each respective region.  Applications from each region to receive these funds shall be chosen through a public drawing.  The drawing shall be held the second working day after the 10th of July at 10:00 a.m. in Raleigh in the conference room of the Division of Forest Resources.  Should funds be exhausted during a fiscal year, applications shall be held in priority as received until the next fiscal year at which time they will be given priority above new applications.  Applicants who start or complete their project without prior approval shall not be eligible to receive funding.

(c)  At the beginning of each fiscal year, the Secretary may designate a portion of funds for practices designed to encourage reforestation at reduced costs or for other special purposes in designated areas.  Such designations shall be for the current fiscal year only.  Funds may be designated for a "Plant-Only" allocation and for a "Mountain Area" allocation annually.  The amount of these allocations shall be based on the prior year's demand for these allocations, however, any increase of these allocations shall not exceed 50% of the previous year's allocation. Funding so designated must be committed by March 31 for "Plant-Only" practices and December 31 for "Mountain Area" practices.  Funds remaining uncommitted after the specified date shall be reallocated on the "first come, first served" basis.  The determination to designate funds by the Secretary shall be made in writing not less than three months prior to beginning of the fiscal year for which funds are designated.

(d)  Funds shall be allocated for replanting previously approved projects, when planting failure is not the result of negligence by the landowner.  Requests shall be approved in the order received.

(e)  The Division shall periodically review the actual costs of carrying out approved practices.  Prior to the beginning of each fiscal year, the Secretary shall establish prevailing costs for carrying out each approved practice on a regional basis throughout the state.

(f)  No approval shall be given for carrying out practices on more than 100 acres by a landowner in any one fiscal year.  This limitation does not apply where cost sharing has been approved and funds allotted on acreages approved in a previous fiscal year.

(g)  Maximum Cost Sharing Rate.  The maximum cost sharing rates shall not exceed 60%. Planting of Longleaf Pine, hardwoods, and wetland conifer species shall be cost-shared at 60 percent.  All other practices shall be cost-shared at 40 percent.

(h)  Cost Sharing Payment to Landowner.  Cost sharing payments shall be made upon certification by the Division of satisfactory completion of the practice(s) as prescribed in the management plan.  Determination of satisfactory completion shall include; an assessment of the proper use of approved practices in relation to the silvicultural need of land, installation of appropriate best management practices to insure soil protection and water quality, and assurance that the installed practice is in compliance with all known environmental rules and regulations.  Payments may be made following satisfactory completion of all approved practices or, at the discretion of the landowner, following satisfactory completion of a sub-practice (s).  However, no more than two payments shall be made for sub-practices covered by any one application.

(i)  Withdrawal of Allotted Funds

(1)           Funds allocated to an eligible landowner may be withdrawn at the end of the first full fiscal year following the year in which the funds were allotted if no work has been started, unless an extension is granted by the Division.

(2)           Funds allocated may be withdrawn at the end of the second full fiscal year following the year of allocation if the practice has not been completed unless an extension is granted.

(3)           Funds paid as "partial payment" must be repaid to the Forest Development Fund if the project is started but not completed within the allotted time.

(4)           Extensions.  A 12 month extension may be granted by the Division when a project cannot be completed on schedule, through no fault of the applicant.

(j)  Eligible landowners may appeal disagreements, disapproval of applications, or decisions on unsatisfactory completion of silvicultural or environmental practices in the manner established in 15A NCAC 01B .0200.

(k)  Cost-shared project maintenance.  The Division shall periodically check projects funded by the program to insure compliance with the 10-year maintenance requirement.  Landowners with projects discovered to be destroyed or otherwise not maintained as specified in the approved plan shall be required to reimburse the program.  The Division's Raleigh office shall be notified of all such projects and shall be responsible for seeking and collecting reimbursement as allowed in 113A-180.1.


History Note:        Authority G.S. 106-22; 106-1010; 106-1018; 143B-10(j);

Eff. August 8, 1978;

Amended Eff. August 1, 2002; July 1, 1986; October 1, 1984; August 1, 1982; January 15, 1981;

Transferred from 15A NCAC 09C .0902 Eff. May 1, 2012.