Thursday, June 13, 2013

Awful legislation would have heavy toll on Cape Hatteras

From National Audubon:
Next week, the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee will vote on a suite of public lands bills, including two that Audubon strongly opposes. S 486 would overturn protections for shorebirds and sea turtles on Cape Hatteras National Seashore, and S 340, a bill to allow logging in the last remaining ancient forests of the Tongass. 

S 486 would overturn a multi-year public process that resulted in balanced provisions that protect endangered shorebirds and sea turtles while preserving the economic health of the community. In 2012, the first year of management under the Final Rule, visitation to the Seashore increased, tourism set record highs, and wildlife on the Seashore continued to rebound. The rule only closes beaches during nesting season for endangered shorebirds like Piping Plovers and endangered sea turtles. Once the young birds have learned to fly, the areas are re-opened. Areas are closed for sea turtle nests only in the few days immediately preceding the expected hatch date. 

The bill would overturn the public process and allow for off road vehicle traffic year round with no protection for birds or other wildlife. Audubon strongly opposes the legislation and continues to press for a balanced approach that protects birds, wildlife and the National Seashore experience.

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