Conservationists are asking a federal judge to suspend beach driving on portions of the Cape Hatteras National Seashore that have been identified as being most critical to threatened and endangered shorebirds in order to protect them before the upcoming breeding season begins.
The Southern Environmental Law center, representing Defenders of Wildlife and the National Audubon Society, filed for a preliminary injunction in U.S. District Court requesting that beach driving be halted. Geoff Gisler with the SELC says about 12 percent of the shoreline would be affected.
The injunction was filed on February 20th to allow time for a judge to
decide before birds begin nesting and raising chicks. Gisler also said the requested closures were recommended by the Park Service's own scientists and are vital to a successful breeding season in 2008.
Judge Terrance Boyle will hear the case in federal court in Raleigh on April 3rd.