A proposal from the National Park Service would allow vehicles year-round access to 40 percent of a popular Outer Banks beach.
A plan released on Friday said drivers would be able to use 29 miles of Cape Hatteras National Seashore, with some limits during the breeding periods of sea birds. Off-road vehicles would be able to access another 23 miles of the 68-mile seashore during some parts of the year.
About 16 miles would be permanently closed to vehicles.
The new rules are an attempt to settle a dispute between environmental activists who want to protect seashore animals and outdoors groups who want access to the beach for recreational activities.
The government will have public hearings on the matter and has proposed several other alternatives to its preferred plan.