Judge Allows More Vehicle Access On Outer Banks Beaches

A federal judge has given a bit of wiggle room to tight restrictions on beach driving designed to protected endangered birds and turtles on North Carolina's Outer Banks.

U.S. District Judge Terrence Boyle has approved additional access to beaches where there are unhatched turtle nests after Sept. 15. Beaches that had been totally closed will be closed between sunset and 6 a.m.

Boyle also has allowed the National Park Service more leeway when closed areas are entered illegally. Old rules said the buffer around a nest would be expanded permanently if the buffer was violated. The new rule is that the buffer can be reduced to its original size if the violator is caught.

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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