Conservation Success Stories

North Carolina has one of the most diverse natural environments in the nation, stretching from the mountains to the sea. Many partners are working to conserve these resources for future generations, resulting in a number of success stories.

The N.C Natural Heritage Program plays a valuable role in the successful protection of some of our state’s most unique and special places.

Sandy Run Savannas State Natural Area

Sandy Run Savannas State Natural Area, owned by the N.C. Division of Parks and Recreation, protects almost 2,500 acres of savannas, swamps and pocosins in western Onslow and northeastern Pender counties.

The project area, which lies between Camp Lejeune and Holly Shelter Gameland, encompasses several miles of the blackwater Sandy Run Swamp and Shelter Swamp Creek, part of the relatively pristine Holly Shelter Creek watershed.

Arnett Branch Longleaf Pine Forest

The largest remaining stand of old-growth Piedmont longleaf pine in North Carolina, located in northern Montgomery County, was purchased in 2011 by the Land Trust for Central North Carolina and the N.C. Zoo.

This newly preserved tract is a unique forest, with some trees nearly 200 years old. Longleaf forests are a unique ecosystem home to a suite of endemic species, and dry longleaf pine forests are extremely rare in the North Carolina Piedmont. Some animals that call this special place home include spotted salamanders, timber rattlesnakes and Kentucky warblers.