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Seashore biologist discusses research projects on interview show....WITH AUDIO

Britta Muiznieks, wildlife biologist and research coordinator for the Cape Hatteras National Seashore, was the guest on Sunday, March 15, on the Radio Hatteras Interview show, "To the Point."

Currently, Muiznieks is coordinating three important research projects at the seashore, all of which are focused on the Park Service's dual mission of protecting resources while providing the public with access for recreation. The projects involve wildlife that nest on the seashore -- sea turtles, American oystercatchers, and piping plovers.
  
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Park Service implements pre-nesting closures

To protect breeding habitat for shorebirds, Cape Hatteras National Seashore staff members are implementing pre-nesting closures in several beach locations. 

During the winter, staff conducted annual assessments of preferred breeding habitat for piping plover, Wilson’s plover, American oystercatcher and colonial waterbirds.  All pre-nesting closures will be marked by March 15.  Pre-nesting areas for colonial waterbird sites will be marked by April 15 and all informational maps and supporting information will be posted at:  http://www.nps.gov/caha/learn/prenest.htm.  
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NPS announces seashore campground opening and closing dates

The National Park Service's Outer Banks Group has announced the dates for this season for the four park-operated campgrounds in the Cape Hatteras National Seashore. Also, for the first time this year, visitors will be able to make reservations at the Frisco and Oregon Inlet campgrounds.
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UPDATE: Vandals destroy more park property in Buxton

Cape Hatteras National Seashore officials reported today in a news release that vandalism continues to be a problem on the seashore in the Buxton area. This week, vandals set fire to two portable port-a-potty structures, resulting in substantial damage of the handicap bathroom facilities and adjacent fencing.  
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Vandals damage Cape Point campground

The National Park Service said today that the Cape Point Campground was deliberately vandalized on Tuesday evening, Feb. 10. 

NPS rangers are investigating vandalism to multiple loops of the campground where a vehicle drove off the paved access road and over vegetation, destroying significant areas of sensitive grass and low lying areas with tire tracks.  
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Lighthouses will open for climbing April 17-Oct. 14

The Bodie Island and Cape Hatteras lighthouses will be open for climbing in 2015 from Friday, April 17, through Monday, Oct. 14.

Bodie Island Lighthouse climbing hours will be 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. daily with ticket sales from 8:45 a.m. to 4:25 p.m.  Cape Hatteras Lighthouse climbing hours will be 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. daily in the spring and fall, and 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., May 22 through Labor Day, Monday, Sept. 7.  Ticket sales for the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse begin at 8:15 a.m. daily and close at 4:30 p.m. in the spring and fall, and at 5:30 p.m. May 22 through Labor Day.  
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Newborn pony joins the Ocracoke herd

Hazelnut is the 17th member of the Ocracoke pony herd. The foal was born on Wednesday, Feb. 4, at approximately 10 a.m.  
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NPS releases some details of plan to comply with new legislation    

The National Park Service today released some details on how Cape Hatteras National Seashore officials plan to address legislation passed by Congress in December that makes some changes in the seashore's Off-Road Management Plan.

The Cape Hatteras legislation, passed as part of the National Defense Authorization Bill, instructs the Secretary of Interior to review and adjust wildlife protection buffers, keep them in place the shortest possible duration, designate vehicle and pedestrian corridors around resource closures, and confer with the state of North Carolina on certain buffers and protections.

It also makes other modifications to the final ORV plan, such as conducting a public process to consider such changes as the earlier opening of beaches that are closed at night during the summer, extending seasonal ORV routes in the fall and spring, and modifying the size and location of vehicle-free areas.  
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Park Service plans burning of vegetation on Bodie Island

The National Park Service has announced that its fire management staff, will conduct a prescribed burning on section of Bodie Island in the Cape Hatteras National Seashore between Feb. 1 and March 30, weather and conditions permitting.

The burns, which are part of the Outer Banks Group Fire Management Plan, will consist of approximately 500 acres located east of  Highway 12, from Whalebone Junction south to Old Oregon Inlet Road, and a 400-acre section west of Highway 12 from Whalebone Junction south to areas that were burned by the seashore staff in 2014.
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