Four-Wheelin’ Forever?

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The National Park Service recently released their preferred alternative for governing ORV use at Cape Hatteras National Seashore. For the past two years, the park service has heavily restricted ORV use on the island after a lawsuit from the Southern Environmental Law Center led to a ruling from a federal judge. Wildlife and park visitation numbers have risen since the restrictions went into effect in 2008, with record numbers of sea turtle nests and nesting piping plovers.

 The park service’s most recent preferred plan only sets aside 16 miles of the 68-mile seashore as a year-round non-ORV area, which, according to the Defenders of Wildlife and SELC, falls short of what’s required by the park’s own scientific data.

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