AN ACT TO DIRECT THE DEPARTMENT OF ENVIRONMENT AND NATURAL RESOURCES, IN COOPERATION WITH THE WILDLIFE RESOURCES COMMISSION, TO TAKE ACTION THAT ENCOURAGES WETLAND MITIGATION PRACTICES SUPPORTIVE OF PUBLIC RECREATION AND HUNTING ON MITIGATION SITES. Enacted August 5, 2015. Effective August 5, 2015.
Summary date: Aug 10 2015 - View summary
Summary date: Apr 20 2015 - View summary
House amendment makes the following changes to the 1st edition.
Amends proposed GS 143-214.15(e) to require the state to accept a proposal to purchase any of the inventory of land suitable for wildlife habitat if (1) the proposal provides for the maintenance in perpetuity of management measures listed in the original mitigation instrument or otherwise needed on an ongoing or periodic basis to maintain the functions of the mitigation site and (2) where the functions of the mitigation site include provision of recreation or hunting opportunities to members of the general public, the proposal includes measures needed to continue that level of access. Requires the instrument conveying a property interest in a mitigation site to be executed as required under Article 16 of GS Chapter 146 and requires that it include these new requirements.
Summary date: Apr 13 2015 - View summary
States the General Assembly's intent to capitalize on wetland mitigation banks that meet federal mitigation requirements for wildlife habitat and hunting opportunities and that the directives in the act are intended to facilitate voluntary cooperation by third‑party groups to realize the goal of increased wildlife habitats and hunting opportunities on lands contained within wetland mitigation banks through the pursuit of federal mitigation credits without increasing the cost of achieving those credits.
Enacts new GS 143‑214.15 requiring the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) to seek more net gains of aquatic resources through compensatory mitigation by increasing wetland establishment of diverse habitats. Also requires DENR to establish with the district engineer of the Wilmington District of the US Army Corps of Engineers compensatory mitigation credit ratios incentivizing the creation or establishment of diverse wetland habitats. Requires DENR to work with the Wildlife Resources Commission to ensure that all purchased mitigation lands or conservation easements on these lands maximize opportunities for public recreation and requires pursuing the voluntary involvement of third‑party groups. Requires DENR's Office of Land and Water Stewardship (Office) to catalog an inventory of all its land holdings and determine how many are potential wildlife habitats. Requires the Wildlife Resources Commission to conduct a third‑party review of this inventory, and for the Commission and the Office of Land and Water Stewardship to report their findings to the Environmental Review Commission (ERC).
Requires the Office to issue a request for proposal if any nongovernmental entities want to purchase any of the inventoried land that is suitable for wildlife habitat.
Requires DENR to report on its progress to the ERC by March 1 of each year.