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$9M going to state to help farms, forests, military

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RALEIGH (AP) - More than $9 million is coming to North Carolina from the federal government to preserve farmlands and forests while preserving tracts for military training.

Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler announced Tuesday the $9.2 million in funding secured through a competitive multi-state grant competition by the Department of Defense.

The Marine Corps will use nearly $6 million for a land easement and the creation of habitat for the red-cockaded woodpecker for 12,000 acres of state-owned land. This will let the Marines use other acreage for training. The Air Force will use remaining funds to protect 4,500 acres to maintain training airspace in Dare County used by jets at Seymour Johnson Air Force Base in Goldsboro.

Troxler says the effort will mutually benefit the state's two largest industries - agriculture and the military.

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