Access and Park Issues
Park Service has released its proposals for 2010 pre-nesting closures
National Park Service has provided the parties to the consent decree
that settled a lawsuit against the Cape Hatteras National Seashore with
its recommendations for 2010 pre-nesting closures to protect nesting
shorebirds on the seashore beaches.
Under the terms of the consent decree, the Park Service is required to
provide these recommendations and maps by Feb. 20 of each year until
there in a final ORV rule, which is required by the end of the year
under the terms of the decree.
Mike Murray, seashore superintendent e-mailed the recommendations
yesterday to the Southern Environmental Law Center attorneys who
represent the National Audubon Society and Defenders of Wildlife, the
plaintiffs in the lawsuit, and to the attorneys for the
defendant-intervenors, Dare and Hyde counties and the Cape Hatteras
Access Preservation Alliance.
The pre-nesting areas cover Bodie Island spit, Cape Point, South Beach,
North Ocracoke, and Ocracoke’s South Point.
The pre-nesting maps include locations of “all known piping
plover and American oystercatcher nests within the area during the
preceding breeding season.”
The piping plover is listed as threatened under the Endangered Species
Act. The American oystercatcher is not federally listed but
listed as a “species of special concern” by the state of
The plaintiffs and defendant intervenors can submit comments on the
proposed pre-nesting areas to the Park Service by March 1.
The Park Service is required to implement the pre-nesting areas by
March 15, 2010 under the terms of the consent decree.
Pre-nesting areas are closed to off-road vehicles and to pedestrians.
Click here to see the NPS recommendations
for pre-nesting areas
here to see the maps of the proposed pre-nesting areas