(a)  Nomination.

(1)           Nominations for the Registry of Natural Heritage Areas may be made by the Natural Heritage Program staff, by other public agencies, by members of the Natural Heritage Advisory Committee, or by any other resident or property owner of the State. Nominations shall be submitted, in writing, to the North Carolina Natural Heritage Program, 1651 Mail Service Center, Raleigh, North Carolina 27699. Nominations shall include the name, address and phone number for both the nominator and the owner of the of the nominated area and the location where the area is located.

(2)           The Natural Heritage Program staff shall conduct an on-site evaluation of a nominated area in order to gather information to determine that the area meets eligibility criteria. 

(3)           After reviewing information on a nominated area, the Natural Heritage Program staff shall determine if an area qualifies for the registry and shall document its findings in an evaluation report with recommendations for action.

(4)           Nominations initiated by the public or other agencies shall be accepted or rejected by the Department within one year of receipt. Rejections shall include an explanation.  The nominator may request consideration again by submitting information that was not previously considered to the Natural Heritage Program.

(b)  Notification of Landowner or Administrator. Once an area is nominated and is recommended for registration, the Natural Heritage Program staff shall notify the owner or administering agency.  The owner may request that the property be or not be considered further for registration.

(c)  All nominations and recommendation reports shall be submitted by the Natural Heritage Program to the Natural Heritage Advisory Committee ("Committee"). Upon approval of the nomination by the Committee, the chairman or acting chairman shall sign the statement of recommendation and submit it for review by the Division Director. If the Division Director approves the statement of recommendation, it shall be submitted to the Natural Heritage Program staff. The Natural Heritage Program staff shall solicit comments about the nomination from the landowner or managing agency. Recommendation statements, comments, and a report of the owner's willingness to accept registration shall then be submitted to the Secretary by the Natural Heritage Program staff.

(d)  Designation.  Upon review of the information submitted in Paragraph (c) of this Rule, the Secretary shall decide whether the nominated area is eligible for listing in the Registry of Natural Heritage Areas.  The registration of a site shall be the voluntary decision of the landowner or administering agency, pursuant to G.S. 143B-135.258.

(e)  The owner or a volunteer shall annually report to the Natural Heritage Program Director once a year on the condition of the registered area.


History Note:        Authority G.S. 143B-135.256; 143B-135.258;

Eff. April 4, 1979;

Amended Eff. January 1, 1986; October 1, 1984; August 30, 1980;

Readopted Eff. March 1, 2017;

Transferred from 15A NCAC 12H .0203 Eff. April 1, 2017.