Pocosin Lakes

National Wildlife Refuge - North Carolina

The Pocosin Lakes National Wildlife Refuge is located in North Carolina's Inner Banks on the Albemarle-Pamlico Peninsula in Hyde, Tyrrell, and Washington Counties. The refuge is named for the pocosin peat wetlands that make up the majority of the protected habitat. This refuge is home to indigenous animals such as the black bear, alligator, two species of fox, bobcat, raccoon, coyote, opossum, beaver, river otter, mink, and red wolf. It is located along the Atlantic Flyway and is home to more than 200 species of birds. The Pungo Lake unit is a notable overwintering site for Tundra swans, snow geese, and many species of ducks, with about 100,000 waterfowl in residence between November and January.

brochures

Brochure of Pocosin Lakes National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) in North Carolina. Published by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS).Pocosin Lakes - Brochure

Brochure of Pocosin Lakes National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) in North Carolina. Published by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS).

Pungo Unit of Pocosin Lakes National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) in North Carolina. Published by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS).Pocosin Lakes - Pungo Unit

Pungo Unit of Pocosin Lakes National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) in North Carolina. Published by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS).

Fact Sheet of Pocosin Lakes National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) in North Carolina. Published by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS).Pocosin Lakes - Fact Sheet

Fact Sheet of Pocosin Lakes National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) in North Carolina. Published by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS).

Tear Sheet of Pocosin Lakes National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) in North Carolina. Published by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS).Pocosin Lakes - Tear Sheet

Tear Sheet of Pocosin Lakes National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) in North Carolina. Published by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS).

Wildlife at Pocosin Lakes National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) in North Carolina. Published by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS).Pocosin Lakes - Wildlife

Wildlife at Pocosin Lakes National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) in North Carolina. Published by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS).

Hunting at Pocosin Lakes National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) in North Carolina. Published by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS).Pocosin Lakes - Hunting

Hunting at Pocosin Lakes National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) in North Carolina. Published by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS).

Clayton Road Block Project at Pocosin Lakes National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) in North Carolina. Published by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS).Pocosin Lakes - Clayton Road Block Project

Clayton Road Block Project at Pocosin Lakes National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) in North Carolina. Published by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS).

Pocosin Lakes NWR https://www.fws.gov/refuge/pocosin_lakes https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pocosin_Lakes_National_Wildlife_Refuge The Pocosin Lakes National Wildlife Refuge is located in North Carolina's Inner Banks on the Albemarle-Pamlico Peninsula in Hyde, Tyrrell, and Washington Counties. The refuge is named for the pocosin peat wetlands that make up the majority of the protected habitat. This refuge is home to indigenous animals such as the black bear, alligator, two species of fox, bobcat, raccoon, coyote, opossum, beaver, river otter, mink, and red wolf. It is located along the Atlantic Flyway and is home to more than 200 species of birds. The Pungo Lake unit is a notable overwintering site for Tundra swans, snow geese, and many species of ducks, with about 100,000 waterfowl in residence between November and January.
U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service Pocosin Lakes National Wildlife Refuge “Wherever you meet this sign, respect it. It means that the land behind the sign has been dedicated by the American people to preserving, for themselves and their children, as much of our native wildlife as can be retained along with modern civilization.” Boundary sign created by J.N. “Ding” Darling In 1903, President Theodore Roosevelt established the National Wildlife Refuge System, by creating Pelican Island National Wildlife Refuge in Sebastian, Florida. There are now more than 540 National Wildlife Refuges. In 1989, through the donation of 93,000 acres to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service from The Conservation Fund in conjunction with the Richard Mellon Foundation, Pocosin Lakes National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) became part of this nationwide network of lands. USFWS Introduction USFWS The refuge is located in northeastern North Carolina, and stretches through Hyde, Tyrrell, and Washington Counties. The refuge includes the Pungo Unit, which was originally established in 1963 as Pungo National Wildlife Refuge. Today, the refuge encompasses 110,000 acres which are used to provide habitat for migratory birds Quote to the left and waterfowl, protect and enhance by Rachel Carson, author of the pocosin habitat, protect and enhance habitat for those species “Silent Spring,” which are classified as endangered, scientist and threatened or of special concern, and chief editor for the U.S. Fish and provide opportunities for wildlife interpretation, outdoor recreation Wildlife Service and environmental education. from 1932- 1952 What is a Pocosin? The term Pocosin is an Algonquian Indian word meaning “swamp on a hill.” Though there are no obvious hills, the land is slightly elevated compared to the surrounding landscape. Pocosin wetlands are extremely flat and their natural drainage is poor. The top layer of soil is comprised mostly of organic material, more commonly referred to as peat, varying in thickness throughout the refuge. This organic matter is made up of leaves, sticks and other organic debris that was once submerged in water and decomposed slowly. Once lost, it takes over 100 years to create one inch of peat soil. The pocosin habitat is unique in that it is a fire tolerant shrub/scrub complex with a pond pine over story growing on organic soils with depths up to 12 feet. A large portion of the land that is now refuge had been ditched and drained for farming and mining of the peat soils by previous owners. Refuge Management The refuge staff manages its resources through protection of lands from wildfires, water management, cooperative farming, law enforcement, restoration of native habitat, removal of invasive species, public hunting, environmental education/interpretation, and partnerships with other agencies. Wildfire Protection and Suppression A large portion of the refuge was ditched and drained, then cleared to support farming. The altered state of the soils make the lands more susceptible to disastrous wildfires during periods of hot, dry weather. The refuge staff and its cooperators work quickly to suppress wildfires to prevent them from growing into large, catastrophic fires like ones seen in past years. The fire management program has also enhances habitat through prescribed burning of selected areas. USFWS USFWS Habitat management through prescribed burning AWC stand Prescribed Burning While fire during time of drought can damage the organic soils of the pocosin, fire is a very useful tool for habitat management when used under appropriate weather conditions. Fire will release nutrients back into the soil, remove undesirable vegetation, and stimulate growth of early successional plants that are eaten by a variety of wildlife. It also serves as a tool to prevent large wildfires from occurring. Once a prescribed burn has occurred, the fuels from the land will have burned and will not burn again, or will not burn as intensively compared to lands that were not burned. Restoration of Native Habitat In an effort to restore a native habitat type, a restoration project of the Atlantic white cedar (AWC), commonly known as Juniper is under way on the refuge. The AWC has been classified by The Nature Conservancy as a globally threatened ecosystem. Several AWC stands have been planted throughout the refuge. One of the stands is being restored through a partnership with the local community. USFWS Water Management Water control is a key tool for managing the pocosin habitat and other habitats used by migratory birds and waterfowl. Lakes, marshes, moist soil areas, and open water provide a resting area as well as a feeding area for waterfowl. Diving ducks, such as the canvasback can feed in deep waters. Dabbing ducks, such as the wood duck can only feed in 12 inches (or less) of water. Another important aspect of water management on the refuge is the prevention of flooding of adjacent private lands and habitats. Water Bod
U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service Pocosin Lakes National Wildlife Refuge Pungo Unit Regulations and Visitor Information Welcome to Pocosin Lakes National Wildlife Refuge Pungo Unit The National Wildlife Refuge System, managed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, is the world’s premier system of public lands and waters set aside to conserve America’s fish, wildlife and plants. Since President Theodore Roosevelt designated Florida’s Pelican Island as the first wildlife refuge in 1903, the System has grown to more than 150 million acres, 553 national wildlife refuges and other units of the Refuge System, plus 38 wetland management districts. For more information visit the Service’s National Wildlife Refuge System web page at http://www.fws.gov/refuges/. You are on the Pungo Unit of Pocosin Lakes National Wildlife Refuge. The Pungo Unit is 12,350 acres in size and includes land in Hyde and Washington Counties in North Carolina. The purpose of the Pungo Unit, originally established as Pungo National Wildlife Refuge in 1963, is to provide habitat for migratory, wintering waterfowl. It is an inviolate waterfowl sanctuary, meaning waterfowl are protected from hunting and disturbance. The 2,800-acre Pungo Lake, in the center of the Pungo Unit, is a historic roost site for waterfowl and one of the main attractions for the birds. The lake is shallow, but because the water is naturally dark in color, sunlight does not penetrate and thus very few plants that waterfowl feed on grow in the lake. The birds primarily use the lake for roosting and loafing (hanging out between foraging excursions). The birds forage in the surrounding wetlands and agricultural fields (both on and off of the refuge). U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Pocosin Lakes National Widllife Refuge PO Box 329 205 South Ludington Drive Columbia, NC 27925 http:/www.fws.gov/pocosinlakes/ There are 1,100 acres of agricultural fields on the Pungo Unit. The Service manages this crop ground via a Cooperative Farming Program. We enter into agreements with local farmers to produce crops in the fields (we alternate corn and soybeans as part of an integrated pest management program and double crop winter wheat in some of the fields). Rather than pay us rent for using the land, the farmers leave a portion of corn standing in the fields for waterfowl and other wildlife to eat. It’s a win/win for all of us, the farmers, the Service, and the critters. A third component of our waterfowl habitat management is our moist soil management program. Moist soil units are impounded areas where we can control water levels to grow native wetland plants that waterfowl eat. We have five moist soil impoundments on the Pungo Unit totaling about 450 acres. The Refuge also provides thousands of acres of forested wetland habitat for wood ducks and other waterfowl species. We can flood some of these areas on the Pungo Unit during the fall and winter to make tree mast even more available for the birds to eat. Migratory, wintering waterfowl (swans, geese, and ducks) begin arriving at the Pungo Unit in October with large numbers arriving in November. Waterfowl numbers continue to grow until they reach their peak, usually in December or January. The Pungo Unit hosts peak numbers well in excess of 100,000 birds annually. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service 1 800/334 WILD May 2018 Adult tundra swans are large, white birds with black beaks and a small yellow spot on their lores (between the eye and the upper base of the beak). Juveniles are gray. They tend to travel in small groups. They nest in Alaska and western Canada. While most of the waterfowl at Pungo migrate north and south along the Atlantic Flyway, tundra swans migrate across the continent. Northeast North Carolina hosts more than 80% of the eastern subpopulation of tundra swans and peak numbers at Pungo often exceed 25,000. Snow geese are larger than ducks, but smaller than tundra swans. They are white with black wing tips, but there is also a dark color phase known as the blue goose. Snow geese are very gregarious, often flocking together in very large groups. There are several species of ducks on Pungo in the winter including mallard, American black duck, blue-winged and green-winged teal, northern pintail, ringnecked duck, American wigeon, gadwall, and northern shoveler. Wood ducks can be observed year round on the refuge. This is Bear Country! The large areas of contiguous forest on Pungo and the rest of Pocosin Lakes Refuge, along with the supplemental food from crops grown nearby, provide great habitat for American black bears and the Pungo Unit supports one of the highest densities reported anywhere in the scientific literature. Black bears will normally avoid humans but keep in mind that they are wild animals and can be dangerous. Be very cautious around bears. U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service Do Not Feed Bears! This may lead to bears losing their fear of people which may lead to them having to be destroyed. Do not get anywhere nea
U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service Pocosin Lakes National Wildlife Refuge photo: USFWS Refuge Facts ■ Established: 1990 (Pungo Unit established as Pungo NWR 1963). photo: USFWS photo: USFWS ■ Mechanical/chemical control of noxious plants. Acres: 110,106. ■ ■ Located in Hyde, Tyrrell, and Washington Co. NC. Reforestation of wetland tree species. ■ Protection from wildfires. ■ Location: the refuge is located six miles south of Columbia, NC off Highway 94 on the east and 18 miles south of Plymouth, NC on Highway 45 on the west. ■ Law enforcement. ■ Deer management with public hunting. ■ Education/interpretation. ■ Partnerships. ■ Concentrations of ducks, geese, tundra swans, raptors and black bears. Public Use Opportunities ■ Wildlife observation. ■ Observation tower. ■ Photography. ■ Re-introduction site of red wolf. ■ Hunting. ■ Open water 6,291 acres; riverine swamp 25,427 acres; pocosin wetlands 50,319; agriculture 1,200; grass fields 25,828; pine hardwood forest 1,486; other 3,123. ■ Fishing. ■ Visitor center and interpretive boardwalk. ■ Organic soils. Financial Impact of Refuge ■ 14-person staff. ■ 34,000 visitors annually. Refuge Objectives ■ Provide habitat for migratory waterfowl and other birds. photo: USFWS Cooperative farming. ■ Natural History ■ Refuge lands were once the southern extremity of the Great Dismal Swamp. Howard Phillips, Refuge Manager Pocosin Lakes NWR P.O. Box 329 205 South Ludington Drive Columbia, NC 27925 Phone: 252/796 3004 Fax: 252/796 3010 E-mail: pocosinlakes@fws.gov ■ ■ To protect and enhance a unique type of wetlands (pocosin). ■ To protect and enhance habitat for those species which are classified as endangered, threatened or of special concern. ■ Provide opportunities for wildlifeoriented interpretation, outdoor recreation and environmental education. Management Tools ■ Water management for waterfowl. ■ Water management for pocosin restoration. Calendar of Events May: International Migratory Bird Day. September-December: deer hunting. October: National Wildlife Refuge Week, Scuppernong River Festival. October-February: small game hunting. November: Wings Over Water. November-February: waterfowl observation. December: Swan Days. Questions & Answers What is a Pocosin? Pocosin is an Indian word meaning “swamp on a hill.” What is unique about pocosin? The pocosin habitat is a fire tolerant shrub/scrub complex with a pond pine overstory growing on organic soils with depths up to 12 feet. U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service What is the aim of refuge management? The management is aimed at wetland (pocosin) restoration, enhancement and protection through hydrologic and plant restoration. The Pungo Unit is managed primarily for waterfowl. What wildlife can be observed? Seasonally large concentrations of waterfowl, black bears, a variety of birds, mammals, reptiles and amphibians. The red wolf is elusive and will probably not be seen. Are any research projects occurring on the refuge? Research is being conducted on wetland restoration and reforestation of wetland tree species primarily Atlantic white cedar, bald cypress and pond pine and monitoring the wildlife use on the research area. Waterfowl banding is being conducted for research on tundra swans and wood ducks. What are the hunting opportunities? Excellent hunting for deer, very good hunting for quail and rabbits, and opportunities for raccoons, ducks, opossums, woodcocks, squirrels, rails, snipes and fox. No black bear hunting on the refuge.
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Pocosin Lakes National Wildlife Refuge Welcome to Pocosin Lakes National Wildlife Refuge. The refuge is located in northeastern North Carolina, and stretches through Hyde, Tyrrell, and Washington Counties. Today Pocosin Lakes Refuge encompasses 110,106 acres which are used to provide habitat for migratory waterfowl, other migratory birds, and threatened and endangered species, to protect and enhance the pocosin habitat, and to provide opportunities for wildlife interpretation, outdoor recreation and environmental education. The designated wildlife observation areas and trails offer the best wildlife viewing opportunities for many species of wildlife. Pocosin Lakes Refuge is one of more than 540 National Wildlife Refuges that protect over 100 million acres throughout the United States. Come and enjoy the natural beauty on your National Wildlife Refuge! Habitat & History The term pocosin is an Algonquian Indian word meaning “swamp on a hill.” These pocosin wetlands, also called southeastern shrub bogs, are at a slightly higher elevation than the surrounding landscape and have deep organic soils called peat. The organic soil is made up of leaves, sticks, and other organic matter that accumulates and decomposes slowly over time. The peat soil acts as a sponge, holding water at these higher elevations and releasing it very slowlythus creating a swamp on a hill. Once lost, it can take over 100 years to create approximately one inch of peat soil. The pocosin is a fire adapted ecosystem. Many of the plant species that occur in pocosins require fire to release new seeds and provide conditions to allow new growth. Pocosin Lakes Refuge was established in 1990 when The Conservation Fund in conjunction with the Richard King Mellon Foundation donated over 93,000 acres to the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service. The adjacent 12,000 acre Pungo Refuge, established in 1963 to serve as an inviolate waterfowl sanctuary, was combined with these new refuge lands and became the Pungo Unit of Pocosin Lakes Refuge. Prior to becoming a wildlife refuge, thousands of acres of pocosin wetlands were severely degraded by an extensive canal and ditch system that was used to drain these wetlands for timber harvest, agriculture, pasture and peat mining. Draining the lands also dried out the peat soils making the lands much more susceptible to catastrophic wildfires and ground fire. Since 1990, the refuge has been restoring the natural hydrology to make the pocosins wet again. This will provide a healthy, functioning wetland; improving wildlife habitat, water quality, and sequestering (i.e., storing) tons of carbon and nitrogen that would have been released into the atmosphere and waterways. Refuge Management The refuge staff works to provide high quality habitat conditions for a variety of wildlife. Habitat management actions include cooperative farming, moist soil management, invasive species management, hydrology restoration, prescribed burning, water management and wildfire protection and suppression. Wildlife More than 300 different wildlife species, including the endangered red wolf and red-cockaded woodpecker, inhabit the refuge. During the winter months on the Pungo Unit, visitors can observe tens of thousands of tundra swans, snow geese, Canada geese and a variety of duck species. Numerous wading birds, shore birds, Neotropical migratory song birds and birds of prey (including the bald eagle) utilize the refuge. Abundant black bears and deer are easily observed roaming and foraging on the refuge. Other species including river otters, bobcats, foxes, five-lined skinks, green tree frogs, yellow- bellied sliders, canebrake rattlesnakes and other reptiles and amphibians can also be found on Pocosin Lakes Refuge. Please see the refuge’s wildlife list for more information. Things to Do Wildlife observation and wildlife photography Hunting and fishing (please see our annual hunting and fishing brochure for more information) Environmental education and interpretation (you can find more information on these opportunities at our Visitor Center in Columbia, NC) Regulations n The refuge is open for “Daylight Use Only” (30 minutes before sunrise to 30 minutes after sunset). n Refuge Roads open to vehicles are for licensed vehicles only; state and federal traffic regulations apply. n Please abide by all refuge regulatory signs. n Prohibited activities include: littering, fires, cutting and/or removing vegetation, taking or collecting plants, animals, flowers, nuts, berries, or any other items, baiting or feeding wildlife, riding all terrain vehicles (ATV’s) except as provided for in our hunting regulations, and all commercial activities n Unless otherwise posted, the speed limit on all refuge roads is 25 mph. n Please use good judgment and caution when driving on any refuge road. Road surface conditions vary greatly due to weather conditions and some unimproved (dirt) roads may become impassible at times. Safety n Bi
U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service Pocosin Lakes National Wildlife Refuge Wildlife List Pocosin Lakes National Wildlife Refuge is located in eastern North Carolina and is divided between three counties, Washington, Tyrrell, and Hyde. Pocosin Lakes National Wildlife Refuge is one of 512 National Wildlife Refuges administered by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior. The mission of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is to conserve fish and wildlife and their habitats. By accomplishing this goal, the Service helps protect a healthy environment for people to enjoy. photo: USFWS photo: Palmiseno photo: Bruce Eilerts photo: USFWS photo: USFWS Pocosin Lakes National Wildlife Refuge The Pocosin Lakes National Wildlife Refuge was acquired under the Fish and Wildlife Act of 1956. In 1989, the Conservation Fund in conjunction with the Richard King Mellon Foundation purchased more than 104,000 acres of wetlands between Albemarle and Pamlico Sounds. In 1990, the Conservation Fund donated over 93,000 acres to Pocosin Lakes. This led to the establishment of Pocosin Lakes National Wildlife Refuge, which includes this donated land in combination with the adjacent 12,000 acres, formerly Pungo National Wildlife Refuge. Pocosin lakes includes over 2,000 acres of bottomland hardwood forests, 1,230 acres of agricultural farm fields, 7,300 acres of lakes, ponds, and impoundments, and over 100,000 acres of pocosin habitats. Pocosin, also known as southeast scrub bog, is characterized by a very dense growth of mostly evergreen shrubs and scattered pond pine. Organic soils occur on the majority of the refuge. These normally waterlogged soils range from 4 feet to over 10 feet in depths. The wildlife checklist is provided to inform refuge visitors about amphibians, reptiles, mammals and birds that inhabit Pocosin Lakes National Wildlife Refuge. The list was compiled from past wildlife surveys and field guides. During your visit, please be aware of the refuge signs. Some sections of the refuge are closed to the public to protect fragile habitat and wildlife. These areas will be posted with ‘area closed signs’. Observing wildlife can be exciting and informative. Field guides and binoculars are recommended. Please report any unusual or rare sightings to the refuge office. Amphibians The class Amphibia is derived from the greek ‘amphibia’ meaning both life. Typically, amphibians have a thin moist skin, lay a shell-less egg and pass through an aquatic or semi-terrestrial larval stage. Amphibians are very sensitive to habitat changes and are thus excellent indicators for environmental health. Amphibians include frogs, toads, salamanders, and caecilians. Pocosin Lakes National Wildlife Refuge provides habitat for 36 species of amphibians. Salmanders Lesser Siren Eastern Newt Two-toed Amphiuma Spotted Salamander Southern Duskey Salamander Three-lined Salamander Redback Salamander Mud Salamander Greater Siren Dwarf Mudpuppy Mabee’s Salamander Marbled Salamander Two-line Salamander Dwarf Salamander Slimey Salamander Many-lined Salamander Frogs and Toads Eastern Spadefoot toad Southern Toad Eastern Narrowmouth Toad Oak Toad Fowler’s Toad Southern Cricket Frog Green Treefrog Pine Woods Treefrog Little Grass Frog Southern Chorus Frog Bullfrog Pickerel Frog Squirrel Treefrog Carpenter Frog Southern Leopard Frog Gray Treefrog Spring Peeper Barking Treefrog Brimley’s Chorus Frog Ornate Chorus Frog Green Frog Reptiles The class Reptilia include turtles, lizards, snakes, and the alligators. Reptiles are air-breathers and have a dry outer covering of scales or scutes which provides protection from dehydration. Over 40 species of reptiles may be found in Pocosin Lakes National Wildlife Refuge. Alligators American Alligator Turtles Snapping Turtle Eastern Musk Turtle Eastern Mud Turtle Florida Cooter Painted Turtle Spotted Turtle Yellowbelly Slider Eastern Box Turtle Lizards Carolina Anole Five-lined Skink Broadhead Skink Six-lined Racerunner Eastern Glass Lizard Snakes Worm Snake Ringneck Snake Rat Snake Rainbow Snake Eastern Kingsnake Banded Water Snake Brown Water Snake Glossy Crayfish Snake Black Swamp Snake Redbelly Snake Eastern Garner Snake Cottonmouth Pigmy Rattlesnake Eastern Fence Lizard Southeastern Five-lined Skink Ground Skink Slender Glass Lizard Black Rat Snake Corn Snake Mud Snake Eastern Hognose Snake Redbelly Water Snake Northern Water Snake Rough Green Snake Pine Woods Snake Brown Snake Eastern Ribbon Snake Copperhead Timber Rattlesnake Mammals Mammals are warm-blooded animals and have an outer covering of fur or hair. Pocosin Lakes provides habitats for over 40 mammal species. Many mammals are active mostly at night (nocturnal). The signs of their presence can be observed in their scat, tracks, fur, and scrape marks. Marsupials Virginia Opossum Insectivores Southeastern Shrew Least Shrew Shorttail Shrew Dismal Swamp Southeastern Shrew Star-nosed Mole Eastern Mole Bats Southeastern Myotis Silv
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) authorizes access to national wildlife refuges for hunting and fishing through regulations promulgated in Title 50 of the U.S. Code of Federal Regulations. Throughout this brochure/permit, “we” refers to the Service, according to those regulations, and “you” refers to you the hunter as the permittee under this permit. This brochure/permit is specific to Pocosin Lakes National Wildlife Refuge. While some of the regulations apply generally to all national wildlife refuges, some information in this brochure/permit applies only to Pocosin Lakes. Not all of the Federal and State regulations governing hunting and fishing are included here and you are encouraged to become familiar with all of them as they apply to Pocosin Lakes. Refuge Game Animals We allow the following to be hunted/taken in accordance with all applicable Federal and State regulations: n Migratory Birds: ducks, geese, swans, mourning doves, woodcock, rails, and snipe n Upland Game: quail, squirrel, rabbit, raccoon, opossum, fox, beaver, and nutria n Big Game: white-tailed deer n Feral Hogs We prohibit the taking or possession of any other wildlife, or any part thereof, including reptiles and amphibians. Designated Hunting Areas We allow hunting in accordance with all applicable Federal and State regulations on all refuge lands except the following (i.e. we do not allow any hunting): n On the Davenport and Deaver tracts (which include the area surrounding the Headquarters/Visitor Center and Scuppernong River Interpretive Boardwalk). n In the Pungo Shop area (fenced) and on the helipad adjacent to it on the north side. n On the refuge portion of New Lake (note: ~15% of New Lake is privately owned/not refuge). n On the refuge lands between Lake Phelps and Shore Drive. n On the portion of the Pinner Tract that lies east of SR 1105 (Rider’s Creek Road) - where the Millennium Forest and Red Wolf Education Center are located. n On the portion of Western Road between the intersection with Seagoing Road and the gate located south of that intersection. n On the unnamed road running with the southern boundary of the refuge land located west of Shore Drive, across from Pettigrew State Park’s Cypress Point Access Area. n On the Pungo Unit, except that we allow limited deer and feral hog hunting (see the “Big Game and Feral Hog Hunting” section below) on parts of the Pungo Unit. We prohibit all hunting: On any part of Pungo Lake. n Within 500 ft. of the Duck Pen Wildlife Trail leading to Pungo Lake. n Within 900 ft. of the Pungo Lake Observation platform (located on the south side of Pungo Lake). n Within 500 ft. of the Pungo Lake waterfowl banding sites. You must obtain consent from refuge personnel to retrieve game from any area closed to hunting. We prohibit entry with hunting firearms in to any area that is closed to hunting. n When a designated hunting area is open to hunting, we allow hunters to enter and remain upon the hunting area between two hours before legal sunrise (90 minutes before dawn) and two hours after legal sunset (90 minutes after dark) provided that during non-daylight hours (before dawn and after dusk) the hunter is engaged in hunting-related activities such as traveling to and from a hunting location, setting up a stand, hunting, and tracking/retrieving game. We allow nighttime raccoon and opossum hunting with a special permit – see the “Upland Game Hunting” section below. Hunting Permits You must carry a current, signed Refuge Hunting and Fishing Permit when hunting on the refuge. The permit is on the front cover of this brochure – Pocosin Lakes National Wildlife Refuge Hunting and Fishing Regulations. If you are 16 years of age or older, you must also pay a $15.00 special recreation permit fee to obtain a special recreational permit to hunt on the refuge. Your receipt for payment serves as your Refuge Recreational Activity Permit. You may pay the fee and receive the permit 1) by mail or 2) in person at the Refuge Headquarters/Visitor Center in Columbia, NC, or 3) online. 1. To obtain the permit by mail, send the following to Pocosin Lakes National Wildlife Refuge, PO Box 329, Columbia, NC 27925: n The hunter’s name, address, and phone number. n A check or money order (do not send cash through the mail) for the $15.00 fee made payable to Pocosin Lakes National Wildlife Refuge, and n a stamped, self-addressed envelope. Please indicate if you want a copy of this brochure/general permit returned with each special recreation permit for hunting. The envelope you provide MUST be large enough to hold all the permits and brochures you are requesting and the envelope MUST have enough postage to cover the U.S. Postal Service’s fees for delivering the materials to you. Multiple hunters can apply together and the fees for all the hunters can be paid with a single check or money order. 2. Permits are usually available at the Refuge Headquarters/Visitor Center located at 205 South Ludington Drive, C
U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service Clayton Road Blocks Project Pocosin Lakes National Wildlife Refuge Good Neighboring in a Nutshell We’ve been restoring hydrology in severely ditched/drained pocosin habitat on Pocosin Lakes National Wildlife Refuge by stopping the artificial drainage of the peat soil through the ditch system. This work has been done primarily to improve habitat, reduce the frequency and intensity of wildfire and conserve soil. With only the current infrastructure in place, we can’t rewet the soil within 1/2 mile of our boundary because it could cause the adjacent private land to become wetter due to seepage. This might impact our neighbors. So this project will install a second dike and canal system just inside some of the existing dikes and canals located at the Refuge boundary, so any seepage would still remain on Refuge land. Approximately 2.5 miles of new dike will be built allowing us to rewet the soil in approximately 1,325 acres of Refuge lands without making the adjacent land wetter. Water control structures and raised roads that serve as levees are used to rewet historically drained peatlands, credit USFWS/Sara Ward. North Carolina’s AlbemarlePamlico peninsula is the site of the greatest pocosin acreage in the U.S.; however, since the 1960’s, 70% of pocosin habitat in North Carolina has been lost. Consequently, in the early 1990’s, the 110,000-acre Pocosin Lakes National Wildlife Refuge was established to conserve pocosins, a unique forested wetland formed on a “dome” of deep organic peat soils. To fulfill the Refuge’s purpose, managers aim to rewet a total of approximately 35,000 acres of these drained soils and restore their natural hydrology. This particular project will restore 1325 acres and allow the water to mimic the natural seasonal hydrology here while maintaining adequate road accessibility and avoiding impacts on adjacent private land. What We’re Doing Project Description Generally, Refuge lands within 1/2 mile of our boundary with adjacent private lands are managed as a buffer; rain water is not held to rewet the peat soils in order to assure no off site impacts. The Clayton Blocks’ project will restore approximately 1,325 acres within part of that buffer. The Clayton Block project area has been managed as a buffer zone because it is bounded to the west and south by privately owned land. In order to allow the Refuge to rewet the soils in most of this area, without affecting water conditions on adjacent private properties, a new berm will be constructed just inside of the existing berm and canals on the south and west sides of the project area. The new berm is designed to prevent hydrologic impacts to offsite areas. The project will allow us to mimic the natural seasonal hydrology on these Refuge wetlands while maintaining adequate road accessibility and avoiding impacts on adjacent private lands. The project will consist of several steps: n Build a new berm approximately 30 feet inwards from the existing canal. U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service This berm will be constructed using material excavated from a new canal inside the new berm. n Clayton Road Blocks Project Area Legend Install three new water control structures inside the new canal system. n Set boards in the water control structures at planned levels to gradually allow rainfall to rewet drained peat soils. Expected Results The project will allow the Refuge to return lands to a seasonally-saturated condition and manage according to its purpose without impacting adjacent private land. The new berm and canal system will provide separation from neighboring private lands, and any wetter conditions resulting from the restoration will be isolated to an approximate 30foot buffer strip on the Refuge lands. In combination with previous hydrology restoration projects, this project will aid in providing important benefits to terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems and human communities: n Provides wildlife habitat for native species. n Conserves peat soils. n Protects water quality by retaining soil-associated pollutants before they reach important estuarine waters downstream. n Lessens the frequency and severity of wildfires. n Aids fire suppression by providing water management capability. n Provides some storm water retention capability. The Service is committed to preventing water impacts associated with our management and welcomes opportunities to help alleviate the concerns of adjacent landowners while still achieving our goal of pocosin habitat restoration. For More Information Visit www.fws.gov/refuge/pocosin_lakes or call Howard Phillips at 252/796 3004. Clayton Road Blocks Project Area Project Area # The new berm will have a “core” of mineral soil extending through the organic soil layer to the mineral soil layer beneath to minimize or eliminate seepage from the restored area. n C11 Map 3 # Existing Water Control Structure ¯ Planned Water Control Structure Existing Dike/Hydrology Managemen

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