Beginning in 2001, CURE work focused on private lands in 3 cooperatives located in the northern Coastal Plain (Benthall - Halifax and Northampton Counties), southern Coastal Plain (Rowland - Robeson County), and the western Piedmont (Turnersburg - Iredell County) (See Figure 1 below for CURE Private Cooperatives map). These early programs were designed to test land management concepts on private lands to inform future efforts.
The three private focal areas were chosen based upon a combination of habitat characteristics and real world administrative and logistic concerns. Habitat enhancements were implemented on each area depending on each area’s unique opportunities. Examples of common practices used were thinning and prescribed burning of forests, the establishment of field borders on crop fields, control of hardwood encroachment, and the conversion of fescue to native grass on pasture and hay lands.
Additionally, NCWRC designated portions of four state-owned Game Lands totaling 21,456 acres as CURE areas: Caswell, Sandhills, South Mountains, and Suggs Mill Pond (See Figure 2 below for CURE Game Land Cooperatives map). These Game Lands were in mostly forested environments. Suitable management and appropriate target species differed from one Game Land to the next. However, all shared a focus on early-successional habitat management through practices such as thinning of timber, use of prescribed fire, roller chopping, and other techniques.
Biologists monitored quail and songbird population responses on both private and Game Lands areas.